Judge Napolitano: Supreme Court will likely OK census citizenship question, but it’s a First Amendment issue
The Supreme Court is getting ready to rule on a number of high-profile cases including the Trump administration’s controversial census citizenship question — which senior Fox News judicial analyst Judge Napolitano says will likely be upheld.
The question relates to the 2020 census ahead of the presidential election and seeks to ask whether all members of a household are U.S. citizens. During an appearance on “America’s Newsroom” on Monday morning, Napolitano argued that the majority conservative Supreme Court will likely rule in favor of the question.
“The government’s argument is that we need to know where people are living who are entitled to government benefits and not entitled to government benefits so we can allocate government resources,” Napolitano said.
“The fear is that people will answer incorrectly and there will be an undercount of human beings and therefore an under -allocation of federal benefits and federal resources,” he continued.
“The other fear is that people will not answer correctly for fear they will be deported or otherwise incarcerated if they are living but technically overstaying a visa or in violation of some other law.”
It’s unclear when exactly the Supreme Court will rule on the citizenship question, but Napolitano said it will have to be soon, as census forms need to be printed well in advance.
Oral arguments were presented several weeks ago, with the government’s position seeming “to have captured a majority view,” Napolitano said.
Regardless, the judge said, the question raises a significant First Amendment issue.
“The First Amendment which prohibits Congress from abridging the freedom of speech also prohibits them from compelling people to speak,” he said.