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Why the Commerce Secretary Shouldn’t Testify to Lawmakers About the Census

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a hearing on the Trump administration’s reinstating a standard citizenship question on the U.S. census.

But with civil litigation over that very issue now before the Supreme Court, the House committee should cancel the hearing in recognition of the fact that having Ross testify is inappropriate and could, as the Justice Department has recognized in the past, jeopardize the government’s litigation.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments April 23 in Department of Commerce v. New York, in which the state of New York challenged the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 census form.

The case presents two issues. First, whether a lower district court erred when it enjoined Ross, as secretary of the Department of Commerce, from reinstating the citizenship question. Second, whether the district court could compel the testimony of Ross to, as the government’s brief says, “probe the mental processes of the agency decision-maker” outside of the administrative record in the case.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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