Attorney General Houdini


So, let’s review the bidding. The AG says he has something up his sleeve—no one can say what it is, but something, let’s call it X—that will quickly get the citizenship question issue back to the Supreme Court, and cause the chief justice to change his mind.

There are widespread rumors and suggestions that, whatever X may be, the suggestion that they would have to take position X caused the entire government litigation team to collectively upchuck.

Whereupon, on Sunday, the Justice Department announced that the old team—who knew a lot about the census, a lot about the litigation, and a lot about the finer points of administrative law—would be replaced by a pickup team of lawyers, mostly lawyers who know about consumer protection issues, which is a very different kettle of fish.

Whereupon the litigation opposing the government asked Judge Furman to deny the Justice Department’s request to replace its team of upchuckers with a new team of inexperienced consumer protection lawyers.

Whereupon, today, one day later, Judge Furman did that very thing, ordering that the government would have to proceed with the old legal team. Just for openers, it would take a new team a lot of time to learn the case. But tempus is a fugitin’, as my Latin teacher used to say,


and the census forms, they are aprintin’, and we are all still awaitin’ to learn what argument X may be.

Not to mention whether the legal brief that advances argument X will be covered in vomit.

If Barr gets out of this one, it will be a feat worthy of Houdini.