Can Obama get the census directly overseen by the White House?

Strangely, Obama doesn't seem to trust his newly nominated Secretary of Commerce and the guy isn't even confirmed yet. Possibly one of the couple most important jobs of Commerce is to oversee the census, so much of the government depends on that being done properly. Well, it turns out that the Obama wants the White House and not the new Secretary of Commerce to run the census. There is only one little proble: the law seems to say that its the Secretary's job.

Congress has “directed” in Title 13 that the Census be carried out by the Bureau of the Census “as an agency within, and under the jurisdiction of, the Department of Commerce.” 13 U.S.C. 2. The Secretary of Commerce is directed to carry out the duties of this title and while he can delegate “the performance of such functions and duties,” he can only do so to “officers and employees of the Department of Commerce.” 13 U.S.C. 4. So what Obama is doing by having the Census Bureaus report directly to the White House is not authorized by federal law. Also, only “sworn officers and employees of the Department or bureau” are allowed to examine individual census reports. This is part of the confidentiality requirements of Section 9 of the law. Depending on what kinds of reports and information would be given to the White House, there could also be a violation of this confidentiality requirement.

What they are proposing to do is illegal.

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Blogger Randy said...

But who has standing to file suit?

2/10/2009 3:39 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Now, here's an example of chutzpah: The Republicans didn't get their act together enough to challenge Obama for not being constitutionally qualified to be President as an Article 2 "natural born citizen" so Obama's White House steals the census from the Commerce Department against the specific instructions of the constitution itself -- "actual enumeration" under Article 1

2/10/2009 5:18 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

USC Title 3 Chapter 4 Section 301.

The President of the United States is authorized to designate and
empower the head of any department or agency in the executive
branch, or any official thereof who is required to be appointed by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to perform without
approval, ratification, or other action by the President (1) any
function which is vested in the President by law, or (2) any
function which such officer is required or authorized by law to
perform only with or subject to the approval, ratification, or
other action of the President: Provided, That nothing contained
herein shall relieve the President of his responsibility in office
for the acts of any such head or other official designated by him
to perform such functions. Such designation and authorization shall
be in writing, shall be published in the Federal Register, shall be
subject to such terms, conditions, and limitations as the President
may deem advisable, and shall be revocable at any time by the
President in whole or in part.

Can ya smell what the Barrack is cookin'?

This requires further research, but I do believe this is the answer as to the questionable legality of BHO's actions...

2/10/2009 8:51 PM  

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