David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

In a series of cryptic tweets since last night, President Trump has seemingly contradicted the announcement from his own Justice Department yesterday that it was dropping the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Now it appears those tweets have caught the attention of the federal judge handling one of the cases challenging the citizenship question. U.S. District Judge George Hazel fo Maryland has summoned lawyers for a conference call later this afternoon.

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As you’ll see in our main story, the Justice Department this afternoon alerted lawyers challenging the census citizenship question in court that the 2020 census forms will be sent to the printer without the question on it.

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President Trump himself has already tweeted that he’s gunning to get the citizenship question on the census form for 2020 come hell or high water, despite today’s Supreme Court ruling.

How does he do that?

I mentioned earlier the time constraints the administration is operating under, namely how do you develop an administrative record in the compressed time frame between now and 2020. But longtime TPM Reader WT suggests that the administration may just declare a new rationale for the citizenship question, say the administrative record already exists and rely on the Roberts’ decision as basically a green light to proceed (emphases mine):

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We’re poring through the census citizenship decision. It’s exceedingly complex. In the immediate short-term, it appears to be a defeat for the Trump administration. But there’s a lot in this ruling that is favorable for the administration. So many questions. Still puzzling through it, as are legal experts. But a few initial thoughts.

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TPM’s Matt Shuham obtained internal emails among law enforcement in New Mexico earlier this year as officials grappled with how to respond to reports that a right-wing so-called “militia” was taking it upon itself to detain border crossers. “In any other circumstance this could/or would likely be a crime,” the head of New Mexico State Police wrote in one thread.

Big new development in the census citizenship case: Appeals court throws another roadblock in the path of the Trump administration. Tierney Sneed is working through the order and its implications here.

With the right wing extremists, you often end up not just with the toxic rhetoric and vigilanteism. There’s frequently something else. In the case of Jim Benvie, the new criminal charge of allegedly impersonating a federal agent fits the bill given his fixation with the border. But the alleged child cancer scam in Oklahoma (not a border state!) takes it to a whole other level. TPM alum Nick Martin has been on the case, and we catch you up.

As we survey the strange scene this morning of Trump’s Iran policy, a helpful thread from former American diplomat Brett McGurk:

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