SLF: Court Unanimously Rejects Clinton Census Sampling

Copyright 1998 U.S. Newswire
September 25, 1998

Contact: Rob Geist, 800-536-5920, for the Southeastern Legal Foundation

ATLANTA, Sept. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) today announced that a three-judge panel in the eastern District of Virginia has unanimously determined that the Clinton administration's plan for the next census is illegal. SLF President Matthew J. Glavin called the ruling "a critical step in ensuring that representative democracy will survive for the next generation of Americans."

A special three-judge federal panel in Virginia today announced in a unanimous 3-0 decision that the Clinton plan to use statistical sampling rather than the "actual Enumeration" head count mandated by the U.S. Constitution violates federal law prohibiting the use of sampling for purposes of determining population for apportioning members of Congress among the states. The Fourth Circuit's decision underscores the unanimous decision reached last month by a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C. The decision marks the second time in as many months that federal courts have declared the Clinton plan illegal.

"The Founding Fathers would be proud of the efforts to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States in the critical duty of apportioning political power among the states," said Glavin. "The dangerous and short-sighted political attack on our republic, which has now been outlawed twice by the federal courts, means that President Clinton and Commerce Secretary Daley must stop spending public money on illegal sampling, period. If necessary, we will go to court again to force them to stop this illegal and arrogant disregard of the law.

"Indeed, the court affirmed today that we live under the rule of law, with a Constitution that says what it means and means what it says," said Glavin. "On behalf of the Republic, I want to thank the hundreds of men and women across America who bravely stepped forward to help us defend this pillar of representative democracy."

Filed Feb. 12, the SLF lawsuit includes 16 plaintiffs from 14 states, including U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), as well as four county governments. The U. S. Justice Department is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the appeal is expected to be heard later this fall. ------ The Southeastern Legal Foundation, founded in 1976, is an Atlanta-based public interest law firm with more than 100,000 annual supporters nationwide.

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