The New York Times reports:
Thomas B. Hofeller achieved near-mythic status in the Republican Party as the Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps that cemented the party’s dominance across the country.
But after he died last summer, his estranged daughter discovered hard drives in her father’s home that revealed something else: Mr. Hofeller had played a crucial role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats.
Plaintiffs in one of the New York-based lawsuits over the question say that Hofeller later ghostwrote an early draft of the administration’s request for the question and helped form a reason for adding the question to forms for the national head count.
The Trump administration has maintained it wants census responses to the question — “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” — to better enforce Voting Rights Act protections for racial and language minorities.
But Hofeller’s documents uncovered through a separate lawsuit suggest administration officials were aware that including the question “would not benefit Latino voters, but rather would facilitate significantly reducing their political power,” argue attorneys with the law firm Arnold & Porter, the ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union in a letter to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman.
The Daily Beast reports:
A secret trove of documents was revealed Thursday showing that the Trump administration added a citizenship question to the 2020 census as part of a right-wing plan to change how voting districts are drawn in the United States—a plan hatched to benefit “non-Hispanic whites.” This is worse than anyone thought. This is white supremacy.
None of this was disclosed by Trump administration officials. On the contrary, they baldly lied about it, denying that Hofeller had anything to do with the citizenship question when in fact he had written the DOJ letter requesting it.
Indeed, senior DOJ official John Gore testified under oath that he drafted the letter, which we now know was copied from Hofeller. How all this will affect the Supreme Court case is uncertain.
Hit that first link. This is story is bananas.
🚨🚨 The Republican redistricting consultant who pushed for a citizenship question on the census advised that it would be — in his words — “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic whites.” https://t.co/RCwpFrwfFh
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 30, 2019
Explicitly attempting to rig the census to increase the power of white people while affirmatively lying about it to congress and the courts makes me think of Andrew Johnson… pic.twitter.com/TQYC5n8rgD
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 30, 2019
MUST READ: NEW evidence abt deliberate manipulation of the census to seal Republican power for next decade. If SCOTUS keeps citizenship Q on, its legitimacy as anything but a partisan machine supporting weaponization of our democracy will be irredeemable. https://t.co/aXkIHM73gt
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) May 30, 2019
I can’t overstate how big a deal this is: we now have smoking gun evidence showing Trump rigging 2020 census to protect conservative white political power & harm minority/immigrant communities for next decade https://t.co/BLQCoCxp4O
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) May 30, 2019
Wild evidence here the Trump administration attempted to add the citizenship question to the census to help Republicans.
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) May 30, 2019
The census is not a sexy topic, but this is serious. There’s further evidence of partisan and racial motivations behind this tampering. It’s another attack on fair democracy, and it matters. https://t.co/GudkjCBWfF
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 30, 2019