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The ACLU lawyers said Mark Neuman, an advisor to Ross, had consulted Hofeller and said he believed the citizenship question would “maximize” representation for the “Latino community.” They said both Neuman and Hofeller knew it “would have exactly the opposite effect.
It would disadvantage Latinos and benefit ‘Non-Hispanic Whites.’”On Thursday afternoon, the lawyers sent a letter to the Supreme Court alerting the justices to the new information.“We always had suspicions about the real motive of the administration, but this is the clearest evidence we have that the genesis of this was an effort to dilute minority voting power,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.
If the Supreme Court upholds the added citizenship question, the change would probably hurt California through a loss of federal funds and one or more of its seats in Congress.
Thomas Hofeller, a Republican expert on redistricting and gerrymandering, died last year in North Carolina.
Lawyers who challenged the proposed question noted that the Constitution calls for “an actual enumeration” that includes “counting the whole number of persons in each state.”But when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in April in the case of Department of Commerce vs.
New York, the five conservative justices sounded ready to rule for the administration.
In California, Texas and elsewhere, many of the state, local and congressional districts have large numbers of immigrants, and these districts tend to favor Democrats.
Redrawing the electoral map based on the number of adult citizens would shrink the number of Democratic districts and tilt the balance in favor of Republicans, Hofeller said.
Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said the “evidence reveals that the plan to add the citizenship question was hatched by the Republicans’ chief redistricting mastermind to create an electoral advantage for Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”The dispute that came to light Thursday began about five years ago.