President Donald Trump's pick for deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau caused a stir recently - for the partisan nature of the appointment and the nominee's anti-democracy views, among other reasons. But tapping Thomas Brunell for the job is just one part of a GOP plan to upend consensus norms and rig the electoral system in their favor.
Republicans are hoping to insert a question on the form asking people about their immigration status, which has never been done before — and which could make people in immigrant communities less likely to fill out the form, given the administration’s broader crackdown on immigrants. That in turn could under-count those communities, which would benefit Republicans when district lines get redrawn in 2021.
Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”