SCOTUS Rules on Citizenship Question
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Wednesday to delay the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The addition of a citizenship question to the census could result in millions of Americans not being counted and in turn, this could dramatically alter the legislative makeup of several states. The SCOTUS ruling prevents the addition of the question, at least for the time being. The court concluded that the Department of Commerce has the right to reinstate the question but would need to present better reasoning in doing so.PRRI data shows that Americans are divided about how they believe the question would be applied. One-third (33%) say the government will use the question to check on an individual’s immigration status, while 26% say the question will only be used for counting the population, and a plurality (41%) say they don’t know how it will be used or refused to answer the question.
SCOTUS: Federal Courts Cannot Block Gerrymandering
In addition to their ruling on the citizenship question, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is not unconstitutional. “Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions,” Chief Justice John Roberts writes. Justice Elena Kagan vehemently disagreed with Roberts in her dissent. “Of all times to abandon the Court’s duty to declare the law, this was not the one,” Kagan writes. PRRI data shows that a majority of Americans say that gerrymandering (59%) is a major problem with the country’s current election system. Across partisan lines opinion is more divided, as Democrats are more likely than Republicans to identify gerrymandering (70% vs. 48%) as a major problem with the nation’s electoral system.
Fifty Years After Stonewall: There is Widespread Support for LGBT Issues
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, hours of altercations between members of the LGBT community and police officers occurred outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Michael Wilson writes in The New York Times of the aftermath of the night of riots, “Gay people kept those streets. The Stonewall uprising would extend into the next night and beyond, would be marked with anniversary rallies that paved the way for the Pride Parade and a ceremony on Friday expected to draw record-breaking crowds.” In March, PRRI published “Fifty Years After Stonewall: Widespread Support for LGBT Issues – Findings from American Values Atlas 2018.” That survey shows that Americans have become widely supportive of LGBT nondiscrimination protections. Nearly seven in ten (69%) Americans favor laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. Support for these protections has remained steady over the past few years, with around seven in ten Americans reporting that they favor nondiscrimination provisions for LGBT people in 2017 (70%), 2016 (72%), and 2015 (71%).
Methodists Remain Split on LGBT Issues
The progressive and conservative branches of the United Methodist Church remain in a deep battle over how to address LGBT issues. Four months ago, the church strengthened a ban against LGBT clergy and same-sex weddings, which has since caused deep division among the ranks. These issues came to a head during a Baltimore-Washington conference among leaders in the church. “The level of harm and hurt is so great, and the inability for us to talk in healthy ways with one another, is at the place where I don’t see any other option,” Rev. Kevin Baker tells NPR. In early 2019, PRRI reported on the state of the Methodist church. According to the PRRI 2017 American Values Atlas, a majority of Methodists in the United States support same-sex marriage, though their level of support is slightly lower than that of the general population (61%). More than half (54%) of all Methodists favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, including over one in five (21%) who strongly favor this, compared to just over one-third (36%) who oppose and one in five Methodists (16%) who strongly oppose same-sex marriage.