Twenty-Second Decennial Census: Memorandum for the Solicitor General [October 7, 1994]   [open pdf - 62KB]

"You have asked, on behalf of the Department of Commerce, for our advice on the questions whether the use of statistically adjusted census figures would be consistent with the Constitution, U.S. Const. art. I, § 2, cl. 3, and with the Census Act, 13 U.S.C. §§ 1-307. The questions arise because the traditional method of taking the census fails to count a significant portion of the population, and in particular disproportionately undercounts identifiable racial and ethnic minorities. In light of these problems, the Department of Commerce is considering the use of statistical adjustments in the twenty-second decennial census (for the year 2000) before the final count is completed in order to improve the accuracy of that census. The Department of Commerce is also considering the use of sampling to conduct the follow-up on households that did not respond to its initial mailing of questionnaires. Accordingly, it desires to know whether such procedures would be lawful. We conclude that both of the proposed changes in conducting the census would be lawful."

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