News Roundup: A Texas Group Wants To Prove That The Census Citizenship Question Is Political Strategy

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 22, 2019 12:55 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A group founded in Texas is in court today challenging the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, which was started in San Antonio in 1968, is suing to block the inclusion of the controversial question.

This is one of several lawsuits Trump officials are facing over the query. Just last week, on Jan. 15, a federal judge in New York ordered the Trump administration to remove it from the upcoming national survey. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said the decision of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to include the question violated the Administrative Procedure Act. However, Judge Furman rejected claims that the addition of the question was intended to discriminate against minority communities.

That’s the exact claim that MALDEF is trying to prove. Andrea Senteno is Regional Counsel of MALDEF’S Washington office.

“We’re alleging that the administration conspired to put this question on the 2020 Census questionnaire in order to discourage noncitizens and Latinos and Asian-Americans from filling out the 2020 Census form for long-term gains, in terms of redistricting and apportionment,” Senteno says.

Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives – a process known as apportionment.

The trial is taking place in a federal court in Maryland, and is scheduled to last up to eight days. CNBC reports that in March, Commerce Secretary Ross will testify before Congress on the addition of the citizenship question, among other issues.

Justin Timberlake has already said “bye, bye, bye” to San Antonio, after a stop there for his “Man of the Woods” tour. But while in town, he dropped in at a local hospital. As Texas Public Radio’s Lauren Terrazas reports, the pop star was responding to a video titled “JT See Me!”

In a video posted on social media, patients at San Antonio Methodist Children’s Hospital are seen holding signs that read “JT see me!” and dancing to Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Well, on Friday afternoon, Timberlake obliged to the request, and visited with patients and hospital staff. He posed for photos and signed autographs, and even rang the bell with a patient, which is a tradition at the hospital that celebrates a patient’s last round of chemotherapy. One child even got VIP tickets to his concert the following night at the AT&T Center. Parents and hospital officials thanked Timberlake on social media, and included some follow-up photos with new signs that read “JT Saw Me.”

A toothy Texas beaver is expanding his reach. Buc-ee’s has opened its first ever location outside of the Lone Star State.

The convenience store chain opened an outpost in Alabama Monday, bringing with it the promise of clean bathrooms and beaver nuggets.

People in Alabama already appear to be going buck wild for Buc-ee’s. Co-founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin told the local CBS affiliate in Mobile that he expects to open more locations in the state.

“I wanted to get this open, and experience it before I did anything else. But the first day tells me we need more sites in Alabama,” Aplin said.

The next state to get a Buc-ee’s will be Florida.