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April 13
1935 - Gladys Carter convicted of manslaughter in fatal shooting of Frances Walker, of the Placerita Walkers [story]
Gladys Carter


By Nicholas Iovino

SAN FRANCISCO – The Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census suffered a major setback Wednesday when a federal judge issued a second nationwide injunction against the policy, finding it would “threaten the very foundation of our democracy.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg is the second federal judge in less than two months to find U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used a bogus reason to justify adding a question that evidence suggests will suppress immigrant and Latino participation in the decennial survey.

California and six cities, including Los Angeles and San Jose, sued the Commerce secretary after he decided to add the question to the census in March last year. The state and cities say an undercount could lead to a reduction in federal funds and congressional representation.

A May 2017 email from Ross stating he was “mystified” nothing had been done to advance his “months-old request” to add a citizenship question was the primary piece of evidence for pretext cited in Seeborg’s ruling.

After that email was sent, Ross’s subordinates embarked on “a cynical search to find some reason, any reason, or an agency request to justify that preordained result,” Seeborg wrote in his 126-page decision.

In December 2017, the Justice Department sent a letter stating that it needed citizenship data to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. That letter came only after the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, initially, refused to request the data.

According to evidence cited in the record, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions intervened after a private phone conversation with Ross and ordered the Justice Department to pen the letter.

Sessions then forbade his subordinates from meeting with Census Bureau staff to discuss the request or alternatives for obtaining citizenship data, Seeborg wrote in his ruling.

“It is clear from the administrative record that Secretary Ross’s purported reliance on the DOJ letter was nothing more than a pretext designed to provide cover for Secretary Ross’s unexplained desire to add the citizenship question to the census,” Seeborg wrote.

The judge also found adding a citizenship question would actually defeat the stated purpose of obtaining accurate citizenship data because evidence shows the question would will deter immigrants and Latinos from participating, leading to an undercount of noncitizens.

Seeborg’s ruling also gave opponents of the citizenship question a broader victory than the one obtained in a parallel lawsuit in New York in January. While both judges found the decision to add the question was arbitrary and capricious, Seeborg further ruled the question violates the U.S. Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires an accurate count of the U.S. population every 10 years.

Seeborg found evidence of the question’s impact on Latino and immigrant participation, compounded by the current political climate and debate over President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, would undermine the “strong constitutional interest” in obtaining an accurate count.

He cautioned that his ruling does not suggest that a citizenship question could never be added to the decennial survey, as it was in 1950 and census surveys prior to that.

But when evidence shows adding a question will hurt accuracy to the point of jeopardizing funding and congressional representation for states and localities, “the government must identify a legitimate governmental purpose that is sufficiently weighty to justify this significant harm to the census,” Seeborg concluded.

The judge also cited the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision striking down parts of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder as evidence that a government action’s constitutionality can change over time depending on social and political circumstances.

“The fact that the citizenship question may have been perfectly harmless in 1950, or that may be harmless again in the year 2050 is of little consequence to the Secretary’s constitutional obligations with respect to the accuracy of the 2020 census,” Seeborg wrote.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised the ruling as a victory that will safeguard fair representation and federal funding for California and its communities.

“Justice has prevailed for each and every Californian who should raise their hands to be counted in the 2020 census without being discouraged by a citizenship question,” Becerra wrote in an emailed statement. “We look forward to a 2020 census free of partisanship, where every person can be counted equally and without prejudice.”

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday.

Because the 2020 census survey must be finalized this summer, the Supreme Court agreed last month to hear a challenge against U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman’s Jan. 15 ruling against the citizenship question. It was the first time in 15 years the high court chose to hear a case not yet reviewed by an intermediate appeals court.

The justices could decide to add Seeborg’s ruling to the scope of their review. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the case in late April and issue a decision before the end of June.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
L.A. County Follows FDA, CDC Recommendation Pausing Use of J&J Vaccine
Out of an abundance of caution, Los Angeles County is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
Santa Clarita Celebrates The Cube Grand Opening
After a roller coaster of a year, the Santa Clarita Valley’s skating community once again took to the ice to celebrate the grand opening of The Cube, the city of Santa Clarita’s newly rebranded ice rink.
Monday, Apr 12, 2021
April 15: L.A. County to Modify Health Officer Order to Align with State
Los Angeles County Public Health officials will modify the Health Officer Order on Thursday, April 15, to align with changes to the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy regarding indoor live events and performances, private events such as conferences, receptions and meetings, and private informal gatherings.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce continues with its Shop Local Campaign. It's a new month and that means it's time shop local, Santa Clarita.
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Out of an abundance of caution, Los Angeles County is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
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After a roller coaster of a year, the Santa Clarita Valley’s skating community once again took to the ice to celebrate the grand opening of The Cube, the city of Santa Clarita’s newly rebranded ice rink.
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1935 - Gladys Carter convicted of manslaughter in fatal shooting of Frances Walker, of the Placerita Walkers [story]
Gladys Carter
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Show producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh on Monday announced the all-star cast of presenters at the 93rd Oscars, which will air live on ABC on Sunday, April 25, at 5 p.m. PDT.
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College of the Canyons and Palmdale Oasis Park Recreation Center will begin operating as Los Angeles County-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites in the northern part of the county starting Monday, April 19.
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The Santa Clarita Valley's COVID-19 vaccination rate has increased by about 5%, as 37% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to data through April 4 published by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
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Garces statue
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Red Schoolhouse
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Tiburcio Vasquez
Nearly 100 people gathered in front of the highly anticipated Laemmle 7 in Newhall to officially open the theater to the Santa Clarita Valley community.
Laemmle Officially Opens in Old Town Newhall
The city of Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission recently met to receive an update from city staff about the status of the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall.
Parks Commissioners Asked to Advise on Pioneer Oil Refinery’s Future
A judge’s ruling this week dealt a setback to the Tejon Ranch Co.’s proposed 19,000-unit Centennial development project in the upper northwest corner of Los Angeles County.
Judge Halts Centennial Development Project in Tejon Ranch
The California Community College Athletic Trainers Association has named longtime athletic trainer, and current College of the Canyons associate athletic director, Chad Peters its 2021 Athletic Trainer of the Year.
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Los Angeles County Public Health on Friday confirmed 48 new deaths and 752 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,432 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 27,432 Total SCV Cases; County Nears 5 Million Administered Doses
The Santa Clarita City Council Legislative Committee briefly met Thursday morning to recommend that the City Council oppose four pieces of state legislation that would expand the state’s land-use authority.
Council Committee Recommends Opposition to State Land-Use Bills
In an effort to provide kids across the Santa Clarita Valley with a safe place to play and learn over spring break while parents are working, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV holds an annual camp.
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