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Front Page » June 25, 2002 » Local News » U.S. Court Rules Against Utah
Published 4,813 days ago

U.S. Court Rules Against Utah

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Longtime Carbon County Kathryn Ori celebrates the arrival of a fifth generation baby girl with her family members in Orem. The five generations of females include Mrs. Ori; her daughter, Betty (Bob) Nichols of Orem; her granddaughter, Lori (Kim) Eckles of Sandy; her great-grandchild, Cammie (Ed) Coble of Tooele; and the longtime Carbon County resident's great-great-granddaughter, three-month-old Ariana Coble of Tooele.

The United States Supreme Court has ended Utah's quest to obtain a fourth congressional seat.

The court has ruled that the U.S. Census Bureau did not use illegal statistical sampling methods to compile population counts during 2000.

"We're very disappointed in the decision," said Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "Still it was an important fight for Utah. You just can't put price tags on guaranteeing equal representation."

Attorneys for Utah spent 17 months trying to exclude statistical sampling numbers from the 2000 census.

"The state of Utah was right to bring this case to the highest court of the land," commented Gov. Michael Leavitt.

The U.S. Census Bureau used a technique called "hot-deck imputation" to give North Carolina an additional 32,457 residents.

The method only added 5,385 Utahns and the state missed getting an additional representative by 857 people.

The decision to take on the census battle received bipartisan support from Utah leaders and legislators.

On March 27, lead counsel Tom Lee argued before the court that the Constitution requires an "actual enumeration" and that the bureau had counted demolished buildings, businesses, vacation homes and storage units in 2000.

"Although I am disappointed with the ultimate outcome in this case, I am honored to have been a part of the State of Utah's historic challenge to the 2000 census," said Lee. "I tip my hat to Gov. Leavitt, Attorney General Shurtleff and the legislative leaders who had the courage to pursue this case to an argument in the United States Supreme Court."

The federal court ruling clears the way for North Carolina to assume a 13th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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