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Sent on Mormon-News: 18Apr01

By Kent Larsen

Census Lawsuit Loses on Appeal

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The judicial panel created to hear Utah's challenge to the 2001 census turned down the challenge yesterday, leaving Utah with only the possibility of an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The three judge panel rejected all of Utah's claims, relying heavily on a previous Supreme Court decision, Franklin vs. Massachusetts, which allowed the Census Bureau to include overseas federal employees and exclude others overseas in the census.

Utah had argued that, like federal employees, LDS missionaries could be accurately counted. But the panel, leaning on Franklin vs. Massachusetts, ruled that the weren't sufficiently like federal employees because their population was biased towards Utah and other western states, unlike federal employees, and because they represent only a small fraction of the estimated 5 million US citizens living abroad. The panel also dismissed Utah's claim that if missionaries are excluded, federal employee should also be excluded, again citing Franklin vs. Massachusetts.

Addressing Utah's claim that leaving out missionaries violated their religious freedom because religious duties kept them overseas, the panel said Utah failed to show that the missionaries even knew that their service left them out of the census, or cared that they weren't counted. The panel also addressed Utah's amendment to the lawsuit, filed last week, that claimed that the census bureau used statistical sampling. In their decision, the panel said that Utah's amendment was too little, too late, and had no link to the state's core arguments.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff released a statement following the ruling, saying that Utah would appeal, "I believe now we owe it to the people of Utah to take their case to the highest court."


Judges Rule Against Utah's Census Lawsuit
New York Times (AP) 18Apr01 T1
By the Associated Press

Judges Reject Utah Census Claims
Salt Lake Tribune 18Apr01 T1
By Joe Baird and Dan Harrie: Salt Lake Tribune

See also:
Census Arguments Made, But Panel Raises Doubts About Counting LDS Missionaries

Census Judge Reverses Himself, Case to be Heard by Three Judge Panel

Judge's Ruling Will Delay Resolution of Census Lawsuit

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

North Carolina Claims Census Lawsuit without Merit

Census Official That Cost Utah House Seat Is LDS

Some Say Missionaries Could Have Given Utah Additional US House Seat


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