CNN Writer: Census Question Case Like Plessy V. Ferguson

Washington Free Beacon | 6/24/2019 | David Rutz
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BY: David Rutz

A CNN writer compared a pending Supreme Court ruling on whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the U.S. census to the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision upholding racial segregation.

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In a lengthy piece Sunday headlined "In the census-citizenship case, the Supreme Court may once again affirm ‘white rule,'" CNN Enterprise writer and producer John Blake recalled the story of Homer Plessy. A mixed-race man, Plessy sat in a whites-only section of a Louisiana train in 1892, was arrested and convicted, and later saw the Supreme Court reject his argument that the incident violated his rights. The decision created the infamous doctrine of "separate but equal" and effectively green-lit Jim Crow laws.

Blake wrote that the census question dredges up the same themes of legalized racial discrimination:

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It's hard today not to marvel at the casual cruelty of the Plessy decision. How could the court accept the transparent lie that blacks lived in separate but equal worlds with whites? And how could they give Constitutional sanction to a blatant display of racism?

You don't have to study history to answer those questions. Watch what happens this week when the US Supreme Court issues its decision on whether the Trump administration can add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, some legal scholars and historians say.

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They say the conservative majority on the court is on the verge of embracing some of the same legal rationalizations that produced Jim Crow segregation in the census case.

The Trump administration has argued the citizenship question will bolster the voting rights of minorities, but Blake extensively quoted opponents who say the administration intends to frighten illegal immigrants and undercount Latinos. The article uses the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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