MSNBC reports that:
The Capitol Hill publication Congressional Quarterly yesterday reported that the White House, responding to minority groups’ concerns about Gregg’s commitment to funding the census, has decided to have the director of the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.
Why am I expecting ACORN to get the census contract?
In Article I, Section 2 the US Constitution orders that “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”
“The Secretary [of Commerce] shall perform the functions and duties imposed upon him by this title, may issue such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out such functions and duties, and may delegate the performance of such functions and duties and the authority to issue such rules and regulations to such officers and employees of the Department of Commerce as he may designate.”
As I read it, the Director of the Census must, by law, be within the Department of Commerce and under the direction of the (Senate approved) Secretary of Commerce who then reports to the president. Am I missing something?
Correction: From reading through Title 13, Chapter 1 it appears obvious to me that the POTUS has no role in the census whatsoever beyond, with Senate approval, selecting the Secretary of Commerce and, also with Senate approval, selecting the Director of the Census who ” shall perform such duties as may be imposed upon him by law, regulations, or orders of the Secretary.” Hhmmm… No president mentioned.
The Secretary of Commerce is the only authority the law recognizes. Since as commenter Laird points out, the Constitution did not place the census function in Article II – the Executive branch but in Article I – the Legislative branch, it is not at all within the President’s reach unless the legislature places it there.
I think that interpretation is supported by phrasing such as this taken from Subchapter 1 section 9 “No department, bureau, agency, officer, or employee of the Government, except the Secretary in carrying out the purposes of this title, shall …”
The Secretary of Commerce does not even report his findings to the President, but rather is instructed to ‘publish’ them. It looks quite clear to me that any incursion by the White House after those two Senate approved appointments is clearly against the law.