Super important story from Tierney Sneed on one particular aspect of this new push by the Justice Department to get the Census Bureau to include a citizenship question on its census form (first reported by TPM alum Justin Elliott, now at ProPublica).
The attack on voting rights has always been a very long game. That’s allowed it to fly more under the radar because the changes are often technical, weedy, and incremental. But the effects can be significant — dramatic even — and longstanding.
So as you read it, push through the technical legal aspects of Tierney’s story because the upshot is critical: A citizenship question on the census would potentially open the door to states drawing their districts based on the population of legal citizens rather than the population of, well, everyone. The effect this would have — diluting minority voting power and advantaging Republicans over Democrats at a structural level — is a serious long-term play for the maps to be drawn in the 2020s. That’s only a couple of years away, but in politics that can seem like forever.
Read More →