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The Nooner for Wednesday, July 22, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS
Happy humpday! "Alexa, what do I have on my calendar today?" Response "Today, there is one event remaining. At 5pm, there is trash (not recycle).'
What would we do without electronic assistants?
Speaking of that, there are many ways I feel bad for the kiddoes in college and grad school right now. One of the best law school events at UC Davis was the annual "Over the Hump" party in the spring for 2Ls, to signify to the midway point of the three-year JD program. So many folks are missing out on proms, sports, and other events and I feel for them. Then again, I bailed out of high school in my junior year and never went to my prom. I went to two -- one as a freshman as a date and another with someone from another high school. All I know is that I can't dance.
I was a drama kid for the time I was in high school and healthy. We were supposed to have a reunion this month down there in The OC. Obviously, it's one of many things canceled, but folks have been sharing memories in a Facebook group. I was reminded this morning that I played Mr. Davenport, a prosecutor, in "Inherit the Wind."
We have another NewsomAtNoon today, so the work continues... There is no advance heads up as to what might be in today's potpourri although it's likely better than yesterday's 180 in the (202) of "It'll get worse before it gets better." Like I would say about the President, Newsom needs to push the public health officials in the spotlight more than himself. Dr. Ghaly, Secretary of CA Health and Human Services, has been holding closed pressers on the phone with media, which makes zero sense. They may not all preempt lunchtime local news broadcasts, but the public wants to watch online.
The numbers: California added 117 new deaths and 10,571 new cases yesterday. While the media is talking about California surpassing New York with the most number of cases at 409,370, that's silly. California has around 41 million residents and New York has half that. Math is not something that media pay attention to.
School daze: Harmeet Dhillon's law firm's latest lawsuit is against Gavin Newsom and other state officials over the order limiting in-person instruction in K-12 schools this fall. If you're new to this game, Dhillon is the Republican National committeewoman from California and runs the 501(c)(3) Center for American Liberty out of her San Francisco law firm, Dhillon Law Group.
She has filed lawsuits against the required disclosure of Trump's tax returns, against Newsom's grants to community-based organizations offering benefits to undocumented residents in lieu of unemployment during COVID, orders against in-person religious services, the stay-at-home order as it pertains to protests (before BLM when the protests were at the Capitol over reopening), beach closures in Orange County, and reopening of hair and nail salons. The Center for American Liberty (CAL) accepts tax-deductible contributions for these high-profile lawsuits and pay Dhillon Law Group for the legal representation.
The CAL announces:
The case of Brach v. Newsom is filed on behalf of parents of various grade levels public and private school K-12 students.
I wrote in this space several times last year that I agreed with Dhillon on Trump's tax returns pursuant to SB 27, sat through the hearing before Eastern District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., and told her afterwards that I agreed that California could not require a presidential or gubernatorial candidate to disclose tax returns in order to appear on the ballot. The law was actually thrown out by the California Supreme Court under state constitutional grounds and thus the federal case became moot.
I would be happy to tell her that this the latest case about school reopening has no merit, like the others filed during COVID-19. Like the other cases filed by CAL/Dhillon, Jacobson v. Massachusetts 197 U.S. 11 (1905) and the line of cases about states of emergency and executive authority would govern judicial decisions and it's not like something is going to go to the Supreme Court (which is out until October) this year.
As I wrote about yesterday, the ability for county health officers to allow elementary schools to reopen even in counties on the state's monitoring list makes it even more likely that the case will be thrown out. The science from other countries suggest that young children are very unlikely to transmit the virus to others, while older children (junior high-high school) have been shown to be more likely to be spreaders.
On my morning walk today (I don't just sit behind this desk for sixteen hours a day although it feels like it), I often listen to The Daily Podcast with Michael Barbaro of the New York Times. Coincidental to this item (which I wrote before my walk), on this morning's pod, Barbaro spoke with NYT health and science reporter Pam Belluck about the science of school reopenings based on what other countries have learned with both good and bad including in unexpected countries.
The lessons from other countries totally back up the state guidance. Elementary schools should be considered based on the local situation and school districts/counties/state should be cautious of junior high and high schools in high-prevalence areas. That's essentially the state order.
The OC: Orange County Democratic lawmakers have teamed up for a PSA promoting wearing masks.
CENSUS AND UNDOCUMENTED: Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order requiring the apportionment of congressional seats among the states to exclude the population of undocumented individuals.
Obviously, the Census is used for far more than reapportionment (and the subsequent corraltive redistricting). It's used for the distribution of many funding streams from health care to education.
The executive order only directs the Congress to apportion congressional seats for the 2022 cycle based on the 2020 (totally effed by COVID) Census by only including persons residing in the United States legally. That would include citizens, lawful permanent residents, student visa and other legal visa holders as of April 1, 2020.
How does that happen given the fact that such data is not included on the Census. At the end of the last term in Dept. of Commerce v. New York, the Supreme court held that, while inquiring about citizenship does not run afoul of the Constitution's "actual enumeration" requirement for the Census, the Trump Administration moved forward on including a citizenship question in the 2020 Census without following the Administrative Procedure Act. The case was remanded to the district court and has largely disappeared into federal court ether.
Thus, we're facing a Census with apportionment of congressional seats based on legal residents and subtracting undocumented residents, but we have no official data on the latter. If anyone has a cool chart about how this works, feel free to share it. All I know are estimates/polling, which are not in fact enumerations.
Of course, for state and local redistricting, human beings are what matters and that's who is counted in the Census and under the California Voting Rights Act.
Regardless of your perspective on how undocumented (or in the Constitution-drafting era, slaves) are to be counted, we all have to admit we have a hot mess on our hands. As I have written, lots of folks from Mexico and further south who were working here in many industries have gone "home" given COVID and industry shutdown. Were they counted as of April 1? Did they leave? Are they coming back?
As if we didn't have enough to blow our minds in 2020. These are issues that will effect the United States for ten years. It doesn't matter who wins the presidential election in November. The census and congressionally approved apportionment of seats lasts for a decade, and then it's up to the states to carve it up to distribute the seats. California will lose 1-2 seats, with two being more likely with today's executive order. That's certainly on the mind of Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who would love to be on the presidential ticket -- her congressional seat including downtown LA is in jeopardy if we lose two seats.
The first seat likely to be lost in redistricting is in LA. The second seat is likely to be in the East Bay of SF.
My brain has been way to much on law this morning, but then again I paid big money for law school, bar review, etc., so I might as well use it.
Article I, Section 2 provides for the decennial Census. The details are left to Congress, under 14 U.S.C. §141. The statute does not differentiate between "legal" and "illegal." We further have no official data. I honestly have no idea what will happen when this pile of doggie-doo lands on the porch of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, tick-tock, we're facing 2022 redistricting. Of course, the presidential executive order only applies to congressional reapportionment (number of seats for each state) and not to state and local re-drawing of the lines. Nevertheless, don't kid yourself into believing that the argument about who to count stops there.
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assembly member Frank Bigelow, Stephanie Herrera, Jennifer Rindahl, and Angie Tate!