In the Rimersburg Rules column in the May 8-9 edition of The L-V, Joe Lewis gives us a clear picture of his regard for the law. In short — he seems to have none.

Lewis gives a brief recap of the case before the Supreme Court: Department of Commerce vs. the State of New York, in which the New York Immigration Coalition is trying to block a citizenship question that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is advocating for inclusion in the 2020 Census. Lewis summarizes that the suit is based on the fact that “the commerce secretary didn’t follow the proper procedures set out in federal law …”.

Well, that would seem to be a problem for the Secretary of Commerce. Not so claims Lewis who asserts, with no basis in fact, that “Be sure of this, no one cares if Ross followed proper procedures or not.” Well, I care. I would think that anyone who supports the rule of law, would care. Not following the process could also be stated as “breaking the law.”

The process for creating the form and content of the decennial census entails a pretty formal and rigorous set of steps, to include testing the changes via a sample survey in advance of finalizing any changes. Those steps are addressed by the law, not by Wilbur Ross’ shortcut approach to breaking the law. So, Lewis, who claims to be a lawyer, is apparently OK with breaking the law.

STEVE SMITH

Falls Church, Va.

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