To: the Honorable justice
re: case #
census citizenship question.
Your Honor, I offer you this friends of the court brief in hopes to sway your judgment.
I am a simple man, not a lawyer, nor am I in any way connected to this case. I offer a simple persons thought on this subject based on a reading(many) of the 14th amendment. If I make some minor mistakes in my written oration, please forgive them.
The question before the court being, “should a citizenship question be added to the 2020 census”.
I would have the opinion that it should. As the 14th calls for it.
Your honor, in reading this amendment multiple times and asking myself some questions, I can see why no Judge wants to touch this question based on the constitution. To do so would surely overthrow previous SCOTUS decisions and create further issues with this precedence. I have gone thru this paragraph multiple times trying to find the law that is within. There is in the reading of this Amendment and a reading of the laws of the time an answer covertly hidden to most.
The answer I found is not what I was led to think. I found that in the writing they specified that only male citizens over the age of 21 were to be counted for representation. Thus over throwing previous SCOTUS decision that said all were to be counted. This surely would throw a monkey wrench into the works, As it would force the representatives to only consider this group of people. This surly will be an issue. But I can not, based on this amendment, support any other premise. Why else would they specify that which they did in the latter part of the amendment? That, quote “ the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.”
As you read the amendment please remember this was written in a time well before women had gained the right to vote (and also at a time that a married woman had few rights and were considered to be subservient and therefore near to property of the husband, and a single woman while enjoying more rights was not considered for legal reasons to be a full person and same as a man) and it was meant to make a small correction after the civil war to properly account for the newly freed slaves (original version showed a black male was only worthy of being 3/5ths of a man).
So by this writing they had made it so that only those that were male citizens over the age of 21 were deemed worthy of representation. And with out further amendment this is what is the basis of the law. They did not mean for non citizens or women or children to have representation in the house.
Even with the advent of the 19th and 26th amendments this did not change the wording of the 14th. The 19th simply says women can vote, and the 26th simply says the voting age is lowered. There is no mention in them of extending these rights any further in the constitution in the amendments. The lack of such a change while troubling, is the law. The underlying laws may have changed, but not the meaning of the amendment as it is plain and clear on the fact of whom it is meant for. It was meant to cover only males 21 or older that for other than rebellion or crimes had not had their rights to vote in a federal election abridged. The lack of such a change also leads to a conundrum in that persons that are able to vote for such representation will themselves not be represented.
Absent a change to the Constitution to be true to this amendment and to follow our oaths to protect and serve the constitution would beg to ask the following questions on the census, are you a citizen, are you a male, are your rights to vote in a federal election abridged for other than a crime or rebellion?
This case is such that it could be a major problem. And may overturn past decisions that ALL people be counted. I understand if in your wisdom you do not wish to decide this case based on the constitution and the 14th as it has implications further than a simple question.
However your Honor, based on all the above I would urge you to approve the question on citizenship on the census.
Your Honor, I thank you for the consideration to this Brief. May God lead your decision.