Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788 (1992)

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appeal from the united states district court for the district of massachusetts

No. 91-1502. Argued April 21, 1992—Decided June 26, 1992

The Constitution requires that the apportionment of Representatives be determined by an "actual Enumeration" of persons "in each State," conducted every 10 years. Art. I, 2, cl. 3; Amdt. 14, 2. After the Secretary of Commerce takes the census in a form and content she determines, 13 U. S. C. 141(a), she reports the tabulation to the President, 141(b). He, in turn, sends Congress a statement showing the number of persons in each State, based on data from the "decennial census," and he determines the number of Representatives to which each State will be entitled. 2 U. S. C. 2a(a). For only the second time since 1900, the Census Bureau (Bureau) allocated the Department of Defense's overseas employees to particular States for reapportionment purposes in the 1990 census, using an allocation method that it determined most closely resembled "usual residence," its standard measure of state affiliation. Appellees Massachusetts and two of its registered voters filed an action against, inter alios, the President and the Secretary of Commerce, alleging, among other things, that the decision to allocate federal overseas employees is inconsistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Constitution. In particular, they alleged that the allocation of overseas military personnel resulted in the shift of a Representative from Massachusetts to Washington State. The District Court, inter alia, held that the Secretary's decision to allocate such employees to the States was arbitrary and capricious under APA standards, directed the Secretary to eliminate them from the apportionment count, and directed the President to recalculate the number of Representatives and submit the new calculation to Congress.

Held: The judgment is reversed. 785 F. Supp. 230, reversed.

Justice O'Connor delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and IV, concluding that: 1. There was no "final agency action" reviewable under the APA. Pp. 796-801. (a) An agency action is "final" when an agency completes its decisionmaking process and the result of that process is one that will directly affect the parties. Here, the action that creates an entitlement

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