Texas TEA Party lawsuit against U.S. Census has merit

Posted on May 10, 2011


Now, I hope you’re sitting down, and brace yourself … I’m about to agree with some Tea Party members.

Three activists in the Texas ‘Tea Party’ movement have filed a federal lawsuit demanding that 2010 Census figures not be used in the state’s redistricting effort, claiming that since Census knowingly counts include illegal aliens, counting them as residents in redrawing political boundaries dilutes the voting rights of citizens and is a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Kaaren Teuber of Van Alstyne, Texas is one of the three named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and believes that a simple review by a court judge is not only necessary, but owed to the people of Texas and the United States. “We want a three-judge panel to take a look at it,” Teuber said.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in the city of Sherman, the lawsuit names as defendants Texas Governor Rick “Secession is the only way” Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, the Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus, Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie, Texas Republican Party Chair Steve Munisteri, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. The lawsuit charges them with violations of virtually every Texas election statute and voter identification law, state and federal redistricting rules, and hints at a conspiracy to commit massive statewide voter fraud.

“We want a fair process that follows all of the requirements of the law,” Teuber said.

The lawsuit claims that since the estimated number of illegal aliens differs so much from Congressional district to Congressional district that a citizen’s vote for Congress from the 23rd District, strretching across more than 600 miles along the Rio Grande and is estimated to contain hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, has more elective power than a citizen’s vote for Congress in the state’s Fourth District, which aligns the Oklahoma border and contains a smaller number of illegal aliens.

“The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to construct legislative districts that are substantially equal in total population,” the lawsuit states.As a result of the disparate number of illegal aliens in each district, “the strength of Plaintiff’s votes in the Fourth District might be diluted when compared with the citizens’ votes in the 23rd District.”

The lawsuit also claims that ‘the inclusion of undocumented aliens in the U.S. Census might have the purpose and effect of strengthening the Hispanic vote, and if so this practice could violate the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and the Texas Constitution.’

In testimony, the plaintiffs said this is literal pandering to illegals to swell vote counts in 2012, thereby creating a conspiracy to commit election fraud. They’re right. It is.

The lawsuit claims equal disparities will exist in other offices which are elected by district, including the State Legislature, the State Board of Education, and the Texas Railroad Commission — all favoring illegal aliens at the expense of legal citizens and taxpayers.

“We don’t feel that the process that was fair and we want a fair process,” Teuber said.”We want all the requirements of the law to be followed.”

The lawsuit demands that a three-judge panel be convened to declare ‘that the use of known inaccurate census data for purposes of reapportionment and redistricting in the State of Texas denies the Plaintiff’s rights as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and federal law,’ and demands an ‘adjustment’ of the 2010 census population to take into consideration the number of illegal aliens in the state.

There is no accurate count of the number of illegal aliens living in Texas, but the number is routinely estimated to be more than one million, growing by an estimated 1,750 per day. It is uncertain how the number of illegal aliens in each Congressional and state legislative district would be determined. Census collection contains no method to verify citizenship, and three attempts to include citizenship verification in the Texas Census have been defeated by Texas legislators. Similar efforts to incorporate mandatory proof of citizenship in the U.S. Census has been defeated routinely by the U.S. Congress, primarily at the hands of Republicans lawmakers, for several decades.

Constitutional lawyer and NYU law professor Samuel Issacharoff claims that the lawsuit must continue because Congressional apportionment (redistricting) isn’t the only use of the Census. Issacharoff says, “The census is done for all sorts of things, how many schools in an area, how many hospitals you need, how much police protection, fire coverage, paramedic service, libraries, etc. Issacharoff also says that people under 18 years of age, also included in the Census, don’t vote either, and therefore shouldn’t be included if the exclusion of illegal aliens succeeds.

What Issacharoff fails to grasp – or conveniently avoids – is that unless they are also illegal, those under 18 are (very wrongly, I feel) considered to be U.S. citizens and therefore entitled to representation by Congress. Adult illegal aliens have no such entitlement, according to the Constitution which is supposedly Issacharoff’s area of expertise. If a person isn’t eligible to vote, they should not be included in the formula used to determine how much power elected officials have.

The lawsuit also demands that current Congressional districts in the state be declared “unconstitutional and of no further force and effect.” As the lawsuit gains notoriety and momentum, it is gaining a commensurate level of opposition from Texas lawmakers and their federal cohorts.

One has to wonder how and why any person or group claiming to support the U.S. Constitution, U.S. citizens rights, clean election laws, or even the simple concept of right and wrong, could oppose an effort to keep illegal aliens from influencing the election process in America.

… unless they’re just looking for more power for themselves.