tv 2020 U.S. Census CSPAN March 29, 2018 2:37pm-3:46pm EDT
nonfiction writers are live conversations about their books. this year as a special project we featuring a selling fiction writers for our monthly program in depth edition. join us live sunday at noon eastern with walter mosley. his most recent book is down the river unto the sea. our special series "in depth" fiction edition with other walter mosley sunday live from noon to 3 p.m. eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> now a conversation from georgetown university law school on the 2020 census and data accuracy, cybersecurity threats and modernization efforts. will hear from a former census bureau director.
>> why do don't we go ahead ant started? hello, everyone and for our guests welcome to georgetown law. as you know we are here today to learn about the challenges facing census 2020. the constitution mandates the senses for the purposes of apportioning representation in the house of representatives. during the first congress james madison who was then a congressman representing virginia recognize that the senses allowed for data-driven decisions. he encouraged congress to ask questions so congress could debate and decide on facts instead of assertions and conjecture. today we have a highly esteemed panel to speak about these challenges and some of the
consequences of the enumeration. first we have director of john thompson, the executive director of the council of professional associations on federal statistics, also known as cpafs. he has more than 30 is expensive working the system and executive positions at the u.s. census bureau including at its top post. from august 2013 -june 2017 he served he served as the census bureau director. before serving as director he served the people for 27 years from 1975-2002 in various positions at the census bureau including as associate director responsible for all aspects of the 2000 census. in addition to his career at the census bureau director thompson has helped multiple of the positions of distinction. he served for five years as president and ceo of norc at the
university of chicago picky was a member of the committee on national statistics at the national academy of sciences as part of his work on the committee he served on two panels related to the 2010 census. he he participate as a member of a panel of the design of the tweets and census program of evaluations and experiments and on the panel reviewing the 2010 census. terriann lowenthal is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on all things census. she served 14 14 years as a congressional aide including eight years from 1987-through 1994 as staff director of the house census and population subcommittee. since leaving the hill, terriann is remains engaged in census issues that she served on the 2008 obama residential transition team, advising on census and federal statistical activities. she advises a wide range of census stakeholders on policy and operational issues including
philanthropy, civil rights advocates, state and local government, and business and industry data users. importantly, she is an alumni of georgetown university law center so let me say welcome back, terriann. professor indivar dutta-gupta is coexecutive director of the center on poverty and equality at georgetown law were also serves as an adjunct professor of law. indivar is co-author of county everyone in the digital age come the , the application of technology use in the 2020 the city of census, account of dissidents crusoe to be be found on the tables outside and online. prior to joining georgetown law, he helped positions at a a crul eight and with multiple policy organizations. he served as a professional staff on the house ways and means committee. he held positions with d.c. hunger solutions and the center for american progress. later he became senior policy advisor at the center on budget
and policy priorities. he also serves on the national academy of social insurance of board of directors and he is a member of the hhs poverty employment and self sufficiency network. finally, professor joshua geltzer serves as a founding executive director of the institute for constitutional advocacy of protection at georgetown law where he is also a visiting professor of law. joshua led the team authoring a letter recently to secretary wilbur ross highlighting constitutional and statutory issues with the administrations failure to fill top leadership positions at the census bureau. prior to joining georgetown law, joshua served the senior director for counterterrorism at the national security council staff having served briefly as counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security at the u.s. department of justice. joshua also served as law clerk to justice stephen breyer of the
u.s. supreme court and was editor in chief of yale law journal. thank you very much for participating on the panel today, and welcome to georgetown. why don't we go in and get started director john thompson, if you would mind, leading things off? >> thank you, john. i would like to do three things, talk about why the senses is so important, talk a little bit about what's different with the 2020 census as opposed to previous sentences, and then they the groundwork by saying where we are now i think my fellow panelists more than cover much more details about that. so what is the sense is important that already heard that it's a basis for re-apportioning the congress every ten years. that's a constitutional mandate. the data from the census are used to support fair redistricting and every state
uses those data although not every state is required to. the census results are used to allocate over $600 billion in federal funding every year. the private sector relies on census data at the american community survey in making a number of decisions about where to put facilities, how to hire, et cetera, et cetera, but basically it drives private sector investment and growth. very importantly, every data collection activity for the most part is done in the united states that space on collecting data from household or population surveys like the american community survey, the national health interview survey, the current population survey which put out the estimates of unemployment. although surveys are made very accurate by the controls that are used by this decision you
census. that's why there is a lot of concern about the potential for an undercount in the census. because an undercount in the census, or lack of representation of the population group would not just affect the immediate uses like proportionate and redistricting or fund allocation but it would be with us for ten years in the data and that lack of representation would carry through. so that's why it's so important to get the 2020 census right. so what's different about the 2020 census lacks so to talk about that, you have to understand that the basic census process until today was essentially started in the 1970 census which meant you prepared an address list, you mailed out the questionnaire to every household on address list, the questioners got mailed back, information was collected electronically off those questionnaires, and then the
most expensive and difficult part of the census took place and that was going out to collect the information from those that did not mail back or self respond. that operation was paper and pencil, and it has been paper and pencil until this census. so for this census, the census bureau is looking at primarily three different innovations to take the census. the first is in terms of preparing the address list, they don't have to walk the entire country anymore to update the address list because of the advent of just a plethora of geospatial tools and materials which will let them in effect walk the entire country but do it in an office census. believe me, where there's any doubt about a a complete list,e census bureau will go out and look at it in person. the other area that they are using is the internet. they are allowing response by
the internet for the first time. they also understand, believe me, that not everyone has access to the internet so they offer response by the paper questionnaire, , and for the fit time that also offer response by telephone. so they understand that but they do hope that a large part of the american population responds by doing it because that would be reducing data much more timely, it will be much less expensive. the final change for the 2020 census deals with how you click the information from those individuals that don't self respond. and for this census, the census bureau has found that using mobile technology in conjunction with a smartphone like this but i think they're pretty agnostic of the smartphone the use, will work really, really well for the census. the senses is ten questions. they fit on a smartphone very well, and when you have mobile technology you can really do a
lot of things to more effectively manage your workforce, like you, somebody has picked up the work, if they're in the wrong area, you know if they're filling out the questioners, too quickly or to slowly, you can do a whole lot of things that really enhances the quality of the senses and makes it a lot easier to supervise the workforce, which gets us away from this pencil and paper operation. let me just say that if you look at some other data, use the costs of the senses, you will see going up exponentially with each census, particularly with the 90-2010 census. the reason for that has been as a population has gotten more complex, you are using a paper and pencil method. your only solution is jeff to throw a lot more people at it, hire a lot more people and that's been, build a lot more infrastructure, and that's what's been raising the cost of
the census. so the senses. looking to get significant cost savings by using these alternatives. initially the census bureau was estimating that there might be able to do the senses for under $12.5 billion. compared to the cost of repeating the 2010 census in 2020 which was about 17.5 billion, which would event about a $5 billion savings. since then and a think we'll talk but that's more the savings have eroded here let me also say one thing that it's very important about the 2020 census, and that is in the 2000 census, the census bureau started looking at reaching out to the american population through two vehicles. one was paid advertising which was both national and local, and the other was a program they called partnership which is
where they hired a number of individuals to go work with local communities at a grassroots level and using trusted voices. they wanted to get two messages out. 11 was why it was important to respond for your community where you live, and that varied considerably depending on communities. the of the message was though your data is confidential, the census bureau doesn't share with anyone, not the icd, that the fbi, not the irs, not the cia, no one. and so it seemed like the program work in 2000 and it worked in the 2010 census. because we saw some dramatic decreases in the ad accounts of certain population groups. so, for example, in the 1990 census it didn't have this, , te undercount of the hispanic population was about 5%. that dropped under 2% for the 2010 census, which is, it's not perfect, is a dramatic gain in
the accuracy. and those programs are incredibly important to getting an accurate count because the messages they get out. so where are we now? this decade the census bureau from 2012 -2017 in terms of the funding that they requested and funding the receipt from the congress was $200 billion below that level. there's more about the funding but i think my colleagues will talk about that in much more detail. what that did wasn't forced the census bureau to make some decisions to prioritize picked the census bureau believed they had to prioritize with the automated systems because he didn't think it was possible to do a paper and pencil census anymore. they did prioritize on that. the effect was that, without the full funding was that certain operations had to get pushed
back in terms of the modernization to effect some will not be modernized, and they had to do for activities on the advertising and the partnership program here is also a big concern. so where the census bureau is today is that they are posted to and into in test in 2018. in fact, i think probably this week i think so materials would get mail out or early next week to start the process -- end to end. but they are at a critical point. my colleagues will talk about funding issues. my colleagues will talk about the importance of both starting the advertising program, but they can't delay anymore and the funding for a good census cannot be delayed anymore. >> thank you very much, director thompson. i think you would mention that the census issues for
apportionment and even redistricting purposes. to be clear everything from congress down to school boards, city councils, et cetera, that it reaches all levels of government? >> exactly. >> thank you. i think you set up terriann lowenthal quite well. >> yes, thank you, john, and john. thanks for having me, and i'd like to see what my tuition dollars paid for because not of this was your when i graduated from georgetown law many moons ago. but i think a more to talk about just two things. getting into a little more depth based on what john said. john talked about why and i could census is important. the question is does the census bureau actually get it right? it tries. the senses has generally gotten more accurate over time as i think john mention, but it is not an equal opportunity enumeration. the census does not count all
population groups equally well. people of color are missed at disproportionately high rates. low income households in both urban and rural areas are missed at higher rates. while non-hispanic whites and higher income households were over counted in the 2010 census. also at risk of being missed, immigrants, female single-parent households, female headed single parent households, young mobile adults. icf you in here, are all at risk of not being counted. and most notably, children under the age of five have the highest undercount of any age group. in 2010, in most of the nation's largest counties, one in ten children, young children, were not counted. black and hispanic in children
are missed at twice the rate of other young children. now, at the national level, census undercounts and over counts, basically cancel each other out so the last census look a near perfect but we don't use census numbers at the national level, right? to distribute political representation, to allocate these hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding, to target new initiatives. and so the problem is that people are more likely to be missed don't tend to live in the same communities as they people who tend to be over counted, double counted. so the mistakes in the senses don't cancel each other out at the local level where it matters. instead, they compound each other and they magnify the inequalities that flow from this skewed picture. so some communities get more than their fair share of
political representation and public and private resources, and others get far less than they should. as john said where to live with those results for the next ten years. that in a nutshell is the challenge for the census bureau, reducing or eliminating that skewed picture of what we call this differential undercount. so i just want to finish up with the next logical question which is can the census bureau do that, what are the chances they will achieve that goal? i hate to set but we had some sobering news i think. i'm increasingly worried that the census bureau will, about its ability to pull off an accurate census, in other words, one that counts all communities equally well. i think there's a confluence of unprecedented factors right now that could lead to the perfect storm in 2020. and for a good kid.
just five really quickly, john had mitch in some of these already. there has been insufficient, delayed, uncertain annual funding all through the census like a -- census cycle and as result the census bureau has had to cut back, cancel or delay critical testing and research. this is going to be the first high-tech census as john mentioned, and the first time there will be an option to respond online. nobody disputes the need to modernize the census but technology also brings cybersecurity risk, real or perceived. so on the real side we've got hacking and phishing scams and disinformation campaigns in this time of social media. russia, hope you're not listening. and then proceed, people are more reluctant to provide their personal information online
because of what they hear about cybersecurity threats. they even putting that aside again, the high-tech census faces the digital divide, low income households, rural households affect, you know, particularly are affected by lower access to the internet and broadband. third, there is a palpable climate of fear in many communities now. anti-immigrant rhetoric and stepped up federal law enforcement activities have driven millions of people, immigrants, into the shadows. even people who are in the country illegally but they may live and status household, right? they may be undocumented, the children may be citizens but they would be afraid of participating. are they just don't understand, their status is unclear. there's a lot of programs up in the air. they also don't trust this administrations intentions. they are skeptical that there census responses will be kept
confidential and not use 200 or the families no matter what the law says. i'm also concerned about things like the opioid crisis and the drug epidemic in many communities which means people are less physically engaged and they have some fear of law enforcement. i think all of those things could affect census participation. like marco rubio, i don't feel about taking a sip of water. very quickly, the last two, proposals to add untested questions at the 11th hour to this census and in particular the justice department asked the census bureau to add a set of question on citizenship. that could derail in my opinion eight years worth of research testing and planning, depressed response rates and, of course, at billions of dollars to the cost of the census without any promise that the census will be
accurate. by law the commerce secretary must submit the actual census questions to congress by the end of this month and that is likely to happen next week. we will see a lot about it in the press, and i think, however the secretary decides, i think regrettably this census will then take place in the shadow of multiple lawsuits. work for you later, and actually a deep suspicion of the administrations motives for requesting this i'm time and pretty much disruptive change to the senses. ..
is important to go back to the allocation of funds over the next decade. i think reporting on nearly $7 trillion will be right over a ten-year period. oh there is with high portions of children and those with large minority populations will be significantly affected that's exactly right. i do think we need to talk a bit about that. the bottom line is, communities where people are missed, they're invisible. we are just going to be making bad decisions all around. >> i think that transitions
very well. think you'd to you and your colleagues into my colleagues tasha thank you to you and your colleagues. i would encourage you to read this. it's much easier than any law school reading you will be doing. i just wanted to focus on two broad points and say something positive. first i want to focus on the issues around technology and data and second around federal funding. think you heard from john earlier that the department of technology has some promising strategies for efficiency. several countries in the world shifted to online and more
technological synthesis but there are concerns. for example, our general goal is to get as many people to fill out the census online because that will allow us to prioritize the nonresponse. will be talking to your landlords and neighbors and third-party data to help fill in the gaps. two out of the three test sites the dress rehearsal as it's called, they had to be canceled and one was in west virginia, a point of focus on rural areas and we also had previous test sites for other aspects that had to be canceled.
we decided to test multilingual operations so we were going in with a lot less confidence and certainty at this point although i think we will learn a lot about how well this internet and it in the structure will work. the technology is not just about responding. it's all about devices and numerators we use in training. there is some testing, just to get a sense of how carol it is , how does that work with in person training. automated training would be faster and easier and nevermind the challenges with connectivity issues and address canvassing. in virginia they try to go around and verify the addresses.
we don't have cell phone access everywhere which this process relies on. there were issues with whether or not they got automated training were as efficient and followed the path that was laid out for them. some of the efficiencies and cost savings are relative to what we were hoping for. we all know about the digital divide. it may be counterintuitive but you can imagine the situation where young people color might be more activ likely to complete the census now because they have more access to technology. the headphones that could have protective software. they may be more likely to use free, public wi-fi, there's
drop off rates where they don't finish or they thought they finished the survey and they haven't. there are a lot of concerns and it would've been ideal to know in advance. we will certainly monitor what's happening in providence rhode island. i just want to give people a sense of the consequences of this. keep in mind census data is not only used for drawing districts but in forcing voting rights and anti- discrimination laws, but let me just focus on some of the programs. around $700 billion a year. that's just the federal programs. even some private-sector programs may use census data directly or indirectly.
it affects the american community survey and the consumer price index. medicaid is over 310 billion. year and it has a very direct impact. there's a match rate for federal medical assistance program. it is based largely on. capita income. the numbers come directly from different data sets. you don't get to as many people in the state. if you don't count as many people who are there, their subsidies for the federal
government. those of you who don't know as far as state spending, medicaid is on average 30% federal subsidy. other programs you may have heard of, head start the justice assistance grant program, children's justice grant, crime victim assistance , family violence prevention and many more. a lot of them directly or indirectly use census data in one way or another and rely heavily on the count being right for the program money to go out in the right way. it may not mean overall funding is affected but it will mean that is not as targeted as it could have
been. the impacts of the census are often indirect and hidden but they are very, very real. i think sometimes can feel like this is not a winnable fight. i don't feel that way right now. you can come back in six months, but i feel there's been widespread demonstration across the political system, and this should not be politicized. census data should be bipartisan or nonpartisan. for decades, in many ways this has been important for so many aspects of our economy from planning and business development, housing construction, political value and federal funding. we have seen when people have spoken out and when issues
have been prioritize, this administration has backed down from decisions. recently they have worked to secure more funding which would not have happened if people had not been engaged. i'd like to leave folks with the fact that it very important that they be active and engaged policymakers and have more on the ground affiliations. there's many ways people can get involved. >> thank you very much. i'm glad to hear there is a positive take. census really does have a history of being bipartisan.
i think it may help when things get off the trail to think about what we, as prospective lawyers, need to do to engage in this area. >> great. thank you for having me and it's an honor to be with these three panel members who know farm ou more about the census than i do. i will try to keep this brief on some pieces i have spent some time on and leave some room for questions. to pick up on john's kind invitation, let me use it almost as a case study, one set of legal concerns that are institute for constitutional advocacy work with a number of other groups to articulate the census bureau and one other set of legal concerns and that will take on more questions.
as you look at a broad array of issues there's a number of them on the table. how do you bring to bear legal challenges or legal concern. others have mentioned after my distinguished co- panelist left, test your elected director, at this point the deputy director and everything i say is with a tremendous amount of respect for civil servants who continue to work hard. on the one hand, i want to emphasize how critical it is, those who are arguing the job they could be doing for readiness and carryout in a bipartisan or nonpartisan way.
that absence of leadership raised for us and others some real legal concerns. in a letter that we sent almost two months ago to the day, several other organizations signed on and identified five concerns. let me talk about three. we started with the fact that there's some jobs in the government that are optional. statutes create them, but they are phrased as may be or can be. and there's some jobs that say shelby. it just so happens that the language says the census bureau shall be headed by a director. at some point in time there really should be one of these. the congress passed a law that said there shall be one of these in place. there has to be some leeway for new president for any president to replace individuals and jobs with this
incredible importance but we are seeing from the outside no report indicating there were even potential nominees. the legal argument one was there should be somebody in this job. we don't have any indication of this exactly a year into this administration. there's been an effort to fill the role. second was that the position of the security is somewhat unusual in that it has criteria associated with it. the fact that the statute said such appointment shall be made from individuals with a demonstrated ability in managing large organizations and experience in the collection, analysis and use of statistical data. this seems quite useful for the role that distractor would play. i may add the circumstances which is not only was there the absence of a reported were rumored nominee but reports of
individuals as deputy directors. we were interested in the projec particulars about individual but we were interested that if this administration were to pursue a deputy director getting installed and not a director, it would seem to be something of a runaround of the statutory requirements. to the extent that reading newspaper reporting suggest that there was a deputy director in works and no director in the works raises concerns about runaround of these statutory requirements. finally, federal law requires this position to be appointed by the president by the advice and consent of the senate's
without regard to put affiliation. the idea of appointing someone to the deputy director role in hopes that they would serve indefinitely as active director to cut out the senate from the role on betting the person and cutting them against the background of the same statutory criteria that i set out before. we and other groups signed on to a letter to deleting these concerns. i optimistic thought is that it contributed to a set of voices out there weighing in on different aspects of the situation. the deputy director announced that he was taking himself out of the running. in some ways that mitigates these concerns. it doesn't address the very first problem of having
leadership of a certain sort at this critical moment in this critical role. that is, in some ways when one system of the advocacy situation, the complex set of issues that we and our colleagues in other groups were able to carve out. let me put on the table one other thing. i co- panelist have teased this up already in the fact that this is the first digital sensors in part. it's not us alone to be concerned about what that means for some of the issues that others have spoken to, whether it's vulnerability and how the data is handled, opportunities for altering the data, et cetera it's folks on the hill. there's now been two letters, the second one was signed almost a month ago asking the acting director for five or
six pieces of information about the it systems to be utilized in the 2020 census we found out by the chairman of the house committee on oversight and government reform as well as the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee that this is not a democrat or republican only issue, but was concerning is that we have gotten answers to the letter we sent in february or the letter we sent four months earlier in november. you can see why i don't do statistical work here. one of the organizations with which we worked on the letter submitted a similar letter all in the interest of trying to understand these issues we're
all concerned about if there are concerns, how can they be mitigated. folks on the hill are rightly asking the question in those of us that are trying to get a handle on how these things will go. hopefully will find useful ways to put pressure on the process. we do have some time for questions so you can come into the aisles. one thing i ask is that we prioritize our student questions. before we go to the first question, i wanted to thank all the panelist for being here today. i appreciate them all giving up part of their day and for
taking time to prepare for the panel. please thank our panelists. [applause] i was also like to thank the american constitution society, the georgetown chapter of the constitution society, the georgetown law students for democratic reform and the georgetown law offices of student life and communications for providing so much support for putting this panel together. thank you so much. [applause] finally, if you will be sticking around "after words", there will be a reception after the questions conclude. one thing i will note is that if you have any questions for terry m, she, unfortunately has to depart immediately following the event to catch a train back home so if you have questions, please ask them
here or find me afterward. i have information to get in contact with her. are there any questions. >> i was wondering if the panelist could speak to some of the more controversial decisions that the census has been making, particularly i know, i'm unsure what the actual statutory decision has been but there has been talk of counting prisoners in predominantly rural communities based on where the prison is located and not based on the communities they come from. i know the immigration and the edition of the immigration citizenship question has been controversial and this might just be my progressive mindset, but the deputy director was supposed to have the proposed one was a rumored one was supposed to have some controversial beliefs, and i'm wondering if there's anything at all to my perception that there might be more political pressure from this administration to politicize the census to the benefit of republican constituents. >> let me talk a little bit
about the issue. every census, i believe every census, prisoners have been counted in prisons. the idea of giving the census count before they live and sleep in the prison. there are some sound arguments as to why that might not be the right place to count them. in preparation for this census, the census bureau actually put the rules that they will use and where the count people for comment. they got over 80000 comments. i think all but four were on the issue of where to count prisoners and of those, all but about five making the argument that prisoners should be counted not at the prisons but where they were pre-incarceration because they had enduring ties to those locations in the belief is
that they will return there. that took quite a bit of work at the census bureau. they had a look at all the comments and see if they would return back to where they were. there wasn't a lot of information on that. the census is doing some research. at that point i left and the census bureau did it. they are going to count prisoners in prison and i don't think they were very clear of why but they did so i will turn it over to carry and to give a little more insight. >> thank you. you can set the context there and just the drill down in a little bit more, they are in fact have been advocacy campaigns over the past several decades to try to change what we call the residence rule for where incarcerated people are housed. there has been a big push to have incarcerated persons
counted at their home address. in large part, the interest in the issue grew as the prison complex or the institutional complex in the united states expanded and so we now have a lot of prisoners from urban areas who are incarcerated in rural communities. those communities get the benefit of those bodies with lyrical representation, the allocation of resources, and the like. interestingly there are now four states that have passed laws to change the census data
after the bureau gets it to them to take the prisoners out of the count and put them back in their help home communities using administrative data or within state and legislative redistricting purposes. as john said, there's actually almost a hundred thousand public comments on whether the bureau should change this rule. the bureau was continuing to do research, and then john resigned and also, november 6, 2016 happened and so we are now with the set of rules for 2020 and that does not change where prisoners are counted. >> finally had another bigger question, i'm not, maybe our others will want to talk about that. let me just say one thing. i think this is important for
law school. the consequences of the census are political by definition. the constitution says so. the census shall be used to distribute equal representation, but the conduct of the census needs to be strictly not bipartisan but nonpartisan. this is the federal government's mere statistical agency and it's important to fight to keep the process scientifically sound and nonpartisan. to the extent that there may be partisan influences to any number of decisions that are being made about the questions being asked or about the appointments of personnel, i would just say this, no one benefits from a failed census. we are all in this together and their immigrants in every community and populations in
every state and rural areas and urban areas. it really behooves any administration and the one that's in place now will be on their watch to make sure that the census is done in a sound way in a way that the public has confidence. the minute the public loses confidence, that the system has integrity, not the implications of the consequences that the count itself, when public confidence plummets, the census will fail. >> can i just had one thing real quick, when i was there i did receive any kind of issues that were considered political manipulation. from either administration. i was in the obama administration and the trump administration.
they will do that with the money they get in the public cooperation and i don't think there would be any gains for doing anything internal to the census bureau to politicize it. there are things that could happen that can make it really hard for them to do their job. if public cooperation plummets than the ability, they can't do anything if they don't get the funding they need. there can certainly be things that are done. >> i think that's in some ways why those were interested and concerned about these issues want to create a greater understanding. i share all of those sentiments, that they will do their job and do it well and
do it as much as the funding and the cooperation they get allows them to do. the question is, what are the other influences and other reasons to be concerned about them. the best way is to get a sense of what the dynamic is there. they had received response to some of the exchanges about the potential installation of the director to be and it revealed an interesting dynamic about the interplay between the white house and the bureau itself about that. it's a little hard to read and understand fully, but whether it's through foia or getting response to inquiries or through what i understand will be actual hearings for the date of the actual census,
that's were getting understanding can either help them do their job by ensuring the public understands what's happening and trusted or whether it leads to folks like you asking the type of questions you're asking because there isn't full insight. >> out of that a little bit to that. i think maybe asking a different question, but hopefully it helps into the question you raised. the census clearly matters to this administration for reasons other than trying to count everyone. we don't know exactly but from what we can see from the outside the deputy director has concerns that a new head of legislative affairs, there was a former aide in congress working on those questions,
there are funding with requests coming from the administration, coming in typically under what even the secretary of health was able to made clear it needs to do what it needs with an increasingly complex society to get to a fair and accurate count. these are the sorts of things that certainly raise concerns. what exactly the motivation is credit may be mixed, it may not be one thing, we don't really know but i think we should be concerned that getting a fair and accurate count isn't necessarily the highest priority. that's the political, that's the white house, that says nothing about the census bureau. that's what they are obligated to do is get you a fair and accurate count, they've done research, the census starts at least the day after it last was done.
they been preparing for and planning it but some of that will come to fruition that we had hoped for. i just want to share that i think we should all have a lot of faith in career staff doing what they can but sometimes their hands are tied. >> wondered if you could actually speak to exactly when planning for a census starts. >> i was just brought up. >> , but john say that except today it doesn't just start the day after the last one. actually in the middle of the last one the census bureau was already embedding experimental questionnaires for 2020. for example looking at new ways to collect data on race and after the city. it is ever ongoing. >> that's a great example for the planning has already starte started. the census bureau is asking
what are some things you want to test in 2020 to help us prepare for the 2030 census. again, like other things that has gotten not the kind of funding that you might want to see at this part of the decade so it's probably a little bit behind, but there is some work going on right now. it will grow dramatically in the next decade and the next census cycle will start in the year and that's when the funding will come in for the next census. if you wouldn't mind introducing yourself. >> of course. i'm a reporter and i think i talked to some of you before. i want to circle back to something that carrion said earlier about the prospect of lawsuits going into this next
census. i was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about what those lawsuits could look like, what the president is for lawsuits going into a census and elaborate a little bit more on what you could do. >> is trying to lift up all the lawsuits to show there will be work for you. this is something the professor should maybe answer but i will say one sentence, the census has been the subject of a lot of negation. very fascinating cases have gone up to the supreme court back down and we been there many times. >> i may give a somewhat disappointing answer insofar that the extent there are conversations about suits still to be filed underway, and something probably best left until they are filed for various reasons, but in some ways you're asking a broader question. you're asking a question about what does it mean on one hand for us to emphasize public confidence in something that
we hope will deserve it and merit it because of the way it's carried out by them and at the same time to see what could well be an increasing set of people arguing about it and in some ways impugning aspects of it by suing on it. i think that has a lot to do with the messaging on how litigation goes on. there are things that i think would be worth suing on depending on how this shakes out, that doesn't fundamentally impugn the process or this people behind it. it's important and it's been proved important in the past and then resolved at various levels but the idea there are legitimate legal arguments and that those should be decided and meanwhile people should not, whether there outside the government or inside the government, they should not use those as an excuse to talk about this process as it's
somehow fundamentally derailed. i happen to think that's true on a lot of fronts where there is an immense amount of litigation going on with respect to the current litigation but to speak about that responsibility and to ensure folks realize that at the end of the day this is the way to resolve things and what a court says is, i assume to be obeyed by those in government and it's probably worth reminding folks about that. >> can i just add a closing thought on that, most of the, a lot of the lawsuits in the past have been about the undercount. there's cities and states and governors and advocacy groups that the naacp and others suing to try to make sure before the census that will somehow reduce or eliminate or
preclude and after a census when we know the census bureau measures its own accuracy that there have been under counts, especially disproportionate ones. interestingly, the courts have given a lot of deference to the census bureau in terms of the way it takes the senses. what methods it uses. it gives a lot of flexibility in that regard. i think the interesting legal goal question also is what is, is there constitutional bottom line on accuracy? is there a point where the census is so flawed that the undercount is so high that the results are so inaccurate that a court might step in and say, obviously after a case has been filed, this does not meet a constitutional standard or
the standard that the constitution envisions for the census. that is the data mine question that we don't know yet and it's a very interesting one. this question of an acceptable level of accuracy. professor, do you agree with that. >> would suddenly be uncharted but it would be interesting whether as a general matter, the enumeration that the constitution calls for has some sort of minimum accuracy standards or in particular, if you were to think that the standards met were vulnerable and underprivileged roots that they suffered undercount, could there be a case. i think that would be all the interesting but it's pretty uncharted territory. >> can i say one thing very quickly. in history, it has gone beyond your typical groups.
for example, i remember the state of massachusetts and the way the census bureau counted the military and it went to the same court. the state of utah sued over the use of statistical computation that might've been sampling. that went to the supreme court. the suits arose of great concern about the accuracy of account for an area. [inaudible] >> you're right. a lot of them give, revolve around these residence rules that we talked about because that matters. if they're counting more of the overseas military population in some states than in others and that affects the congressional apportionment in the state that didn't get that last he is going to be angry and going to go to court. that just happened a number of times. we do find that the courts
have generally given the census bureau a lot of deference in terms of these decisions about where to count people and how to count people so, in my mind, the unanswered question is is there a floor of the constitution would prompt the court to step in and say this has gone below what's acceptable. >> does anyone feel that the change in residence rules for the overseas military population but not for the prison population raises any red flags. >> i think it was actually good thing to be more consistent with the census rules so what happened was the resort of two, there's a lot of different things but there's two ways to think of the military. first you have those who are stationed overseas and you really don't know where they're going to go for the next assignment.
they could come back so what the census bureau has been doing is counting them, then there's the militaries who is deployed and they are going to return to the base they were deployed from. the decision was to count them at the base they would be deployed from because there is clear evidence they would be returning to that base which is sort of, if you dig into the court case, the lawsuit about word count military, it was something similar to the fact that they have enduring ties to return to the united states. >> right. this is what i can tell you because i actually was in congress when the census bureau helped pass the bill that prompted the census bureau to decide count members of the armed forces and federal civilian employees by much smaller numbers who are stationed overseas. in the state population totals that are used to a portion of
congress only, this is back from the 1990 census, and it took years to come to a political agreement on that the cousin affected congressional. [inaudible] the one thing i can tell you is this. there will be some surprises on december 31, 2020 when the census bureau reports the state population totals and the resulting congressional portion to the present. the inclusion of members of the armed forces stationed overseas in a different way this time then john just described than those who were deployed with station stateside, i don't have a lot of money to wager but i'll wager a little that it is going to affect at least one congressional seat between one state and the other in some member of congress will wake up and say why deny. attention to this when the census bureau was looking at
these residential's 30 years ago. >> i am richard cohen and i happen to graduate from this law center in 1972. it makes me older than carry-on and because of that i spent one year as a student and first and second year at an old red brick building which was not right. [inaudible] it's truly remarkable to see this campus that has developed here. on a personal note, i am living proof and there are plenty of others that one can graduate from this law school and not practice law or even be a member of the bar and have a successful career. in my case as a journalist covering congress. my question is, to what extent, this may be a false choice so tell me, to what
extent are your concerns about the census imaginations of the problems that result that will be deliberately or even maliciously imposed on the census by the administration or by others or are your concerns also or even more so that there would be benign steps that are pursued, that are taken that could mess up or adversely affect the census. thank you. >> i don't know if i would use those words, but i think knowingly might be the word i would use. we know knowingly, i don't know deliberately or maliciously but i think we know, if we just take the question.
>> we are going to leave this program at this point. you can see it online at cspan.org. heading life to capitol hill for the u.s. senate, they are holding a brief poor pro forma session. the house and senate are away in their home district for the easter passover break. now live to the floor of the u.s. senate. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 29, 2018. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable mike rounds, a senator from the state of south dakota, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 12:00 noon on monday, until 12:00 noon on monday, senate lawmakers will