We begin today’s roundup with analysis of today’s hearing at the Supreme Court on the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. First up, The Washington Post:
THE SUPREME COURT will hear arguments Tuesday about who counts, quite literally, in the eyes of the federal government. How many representatives the various states get in Congress for the decade beginning in 2020, along with how much money those states get from Congress, could be affected. At stake is not just the fate of the census, the constitutionally mandated every-10-years count of the U.S. population, but also whether the Trump administration will get away with one of its more glaring con jobs. [...] The evidence suggests that the question was included for nefarious purposes. If the high court does not intervene, it will lead to a less accurate count than would otherwise be possible.
Adam Liptak at The New York Times:
Critics say that adding the question would undermine the accuracy of the census because both legal and unauthorized immigrants might refuse to fill out the forms. By one government estimate, about 6.5 million people might decide not to participate.
That could reduce Democratic representation when congressional districts are allocated in 2021 and affect the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending. Courts have found that Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas could risk losing seats in the House, and that several states could lose federal money.
On the Mueller report, Eugene Robinson calls on Democrats to define the moment:
Anyone who thinks there is a chance that Trump will lick his wounds and move on has not been paying attention. Having escaped criminal charges — because he is a sitting president — Trump will go on the offensive. With the help of Attorney General William P. Barr, whose title really should be Minister of Spin, the president will push to investigate the investigators and sell the bogus counternarrative of an attempted “coup” by politically motivated elements of the “deep state.”
Here is the important thing: Trump will mount this attack no matter what Democrats do . And strictly as a matter of practical politics, the best defense against Trump has to be a powerful offense.
Norm Ornstein argues that any impeachment should be the result of a public investigative process:
There is, I believe, a reasonable path forward that, besides being politically palatable, has the added advantage of being the right thing to do. It starts with a coordinated and in-depth examination of the Mueller report by the House.
Michael S. Schmidt at The New York Times lays out the White House’s attack plan:
The attacks by Mr. Trump and his allies demonstrate the pivotal roles that Mr. McGahn played in the Russia inquiry. As the chief White House lawyer, he stepped in repeatedly to thwart Mr. Trump’s attempts to curtail the investigation. But he also served as the unofficial narrator of the special counsel’s report on whether the president obstructed justice. He is cited 157 times, more than any other witness.
At New York magazine, Barbara McQuade dives deeper into the report:
Trump’s receptiveness to Russia’s overtures may even have encouraged the attacks. Despite Attorney General William Barr’s characterization that Mueller found no collusion, Mueller’s report tells a different story. Mueller says that the evidence was not sufficient to charge any member of the Trump campaign with conspiring with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. But “the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”
Paul Krugman dedicates his column to an analysis of the modern Republican Party:
Everyone (correctly) takes it as a given that Republicans will do nothing. Why?
Because the modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if that’s what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans may not think of it in those terms, but that’s what their behavior amounts to.
And USA Today’s editors point out that beyond talking about the president’s conduct, we need to be talking about Russia’s and specifically, how to secure our elections going forward:
It is time for the Trump administration, Congress, the states and leading technology companies to address this fact and ensure that the 2020 election isn't a rerun of 2016.
Some steps are already being taken. Congress imposed sanctions on Russia. The FBI established a task force on foreign influence. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter are beefing up efforts to fight disinformation. States are strengthening their voting systems against cyberattacks. But more needs to be done, especially at the White House level. [...]
This would start with Trump ending — and explaining — any secret meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. U.S. presidents simply should not have no-record meetings with important heads of state, particularly not with those who head adversarial nations.