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