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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 02, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 01Mar01

By Tom Duffany

Government's Census Reply Claims Utah Hasn't Suffered Damages

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The federal government has weighed in on the 2000 census issue. The government filed a motion in SLC Distict Court which, if headed, would deny Utah its attempt to gain another seat in the House of Representatives. The seat in question was awarded to North Carolina by a margin of 857.

The federal government argued that the state of Utah hasn't been damaged, and the suit is narrow and self-serving, and may even raise questions of equal protection and establishment of religion. First, the motion states that Utah has not been harmed - they didn't get something which they wanted, but no actual harm has been done.

Next, the federal motion claims that by only focusing on missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the law suit ignores citizens from other states and "blatantly forsakes Utah's other similarly situated citizens."

The 2000 census counted military and civil-service employees living abroad, but did not count the estimated 11,000 missionaries living abroad. Utah's Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff said "...we clearly waited until there was injury." He also took exception to the charge that Utah was only concerned with a single population. "If we were to count everybody, that would take another six months to a year."

A hearing is scheduled for March 20 before a three judge panel.


Feds Fight Challenge To Census, Government says Utah's suit raises constitutional concerns
Salt Lake Tribune 24Feb01 T1
By Joe Baird: Salt Lake Tribune


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