My Lord, It Must Really Suck to be Bill Barr, Right Now

balls in a vice

In the remote event your thirst for more information on this subject remains unsatisfied, this evening Politico posted a thumb sucker explaining Why Trump will likely lose the census citizenship fight. (That is, if his team decides to ask the courts to lift the injunction against the citizenship question—as opposed to just ignoring the injunction and blowing up the Constitution. See prior post.)

The Politico post won’t surprise you, but it does bring into sharp relief the passel of lies that Trump’s new legal team will have to tell—partly, in order to counter the passel of lies that his old legal team fed the courts:

Eleven days after an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling, a new team of Justice Department attorneys must persuade three district court judges that a June 30 printing deadline a previous DOJ legal team insisted had to be met no longer applies — even though, the Commerce Department said last week, the questionnaires are being printed already.

To pass muster with the Supreme Court, the new DOJ team must find a rationale that the high court will rule consistent with regulatory law and also believable — a tough assignment given that the court said in its ruling that the previous rationale was not.

“I think over the next day or two you’ll see what approach we’re taking, and I think it does provide a pathway for getting the question on the Census,” Attorney General William Barr told reporters Monday.

But that effort has been undermined repeatedly by Trump, who last week appeared to concede that his purpose was political. “Number one, you need it for Congress, you need it for Congress, for districting,” he said last week. “You need it for appropriations — where are the funds going? How many people are there? Are they citizens or are they not citizens?” (Districting and appropriations decisions are in fact based on the census’s raw population numbers, not on any citizen count.)

“It just feels like a farce,” said Vanita Gupta, a former head of DOJ’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama …

It does indeed feel like a farce—and with good reason. But, to me, it also feels like something else. It feels like Bill Barr’s gonads are in a vice, and he’s being pushed, inch by inch, to a point where he’ll either lend what remaining prestige he has to an effort to destroy the Constitution, or he will have to resign.

In the past I have urged everyone not only to listen to what Barr says but also to watch what Barr does.

Keep on watching, folks. Just keep on watching.