Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452, 2 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 452 (2002)


ference between Utah and the plaintiff in Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U. S. 788, in which the Court rejected a similar standing argument, North Carolina must convince the Court that it should reconsider Franklin. It has not done so. It argues that ordering appellees to recalculate the census numbers and recertify the official result cannot help Utah because North Carolina is "entitled" to the number of Representatives already certified to it under the statutes that require a decennial census, 13 U. S. C. 141(a); mandate that the results be reported to the President, 141(b); obligate the President to send Congress a statement showing the number of Representatives to which each State is "entitled" by the census data, 2 U. S. C. 2a(a); and specify that the House must then send each State a certificate of the number of Representatives to which it is "entitled." The statutes also say that once all that is done, each State "shall be entitled" to the number of Representatives the "certificate" specifies. 2a(b). Unlike North Carolina, the Court does not read these statutes as absolutely barring a certificate's revision in all cases. The statutes do not expressly address what is to occur in the case of a serious mistake—say, a clerical, mathematical, or calculation error in census data or in its transposition. Guided by Franklin, which found standing despite 2a's presence, the Court reads the statute as permitting certificate revision in such cases of error, including cases of court-determined legal error leading to a court-required revision of the underlying census report. So read, the statute poses no legal bar to "redress." Nor does Pub. L. 105-119, Title II, 209(b), 111 Stat. 2481, which entitles "[a]ny person aggrieved by the use of any [unlawful] statistical method" to bring "a civil action" for declaratory or injunctive "relief against the use of such method." Despite North Carolina's argument that this statute implicitly forbids a suit after the census' conclusion, the statute does not say that and does not explain why Congress would wish to deprive of its day in court a State that did not learn of a counting method's representational consequences until after the census' completion—and hence had little, if any, incentive to bring a precensus action. The Court reads limitations on its jurisdiction narrowly, see, e. g., Webster v. Doe, 486 U. S. 592, 603, and will not read into a statute an unexpressed congressional intent to bar jurisdiction the Court has previously exercised, e. g., Franklin, supra. Because neither statute poses an absolute legal barrier to relief, it is likely that Utah's victory here would bring about the ultimate relief it seeks. See id., at 803. Thus, Utah has standing. Pp. 459-464.

2. The Bureau's use of "hot-deck imputation" does not violate 13 U. S. C. 195, which "authorize[s] the use of the statistical method known as 'sampling,' " "[e]xcept for the determination of population for purposes of apportionment of Representatives." Bureau imputation in


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