Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452, 11 (2002)

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462

UTAH v. EVANS

Opinion of the Court

North Carolina points out that all of this was done by January 16, 2001. And North Carolina concludes that it is "entitled" to the number of Representatives that the "certificate" specifies (i. e., one more than Utah would like)—come what may.

We disagree with North Carolina because we do not read these statutes so absolutely—as if they barred a certificate's revision in all cases no matter what. The statutes themselves do not expressly say what is to occur should the "re-port" or the "statement" upon which the Clerk's "certificate" rests turn out to contain, or to reflect, a serious mistake. The language is open to a more flexible reading that would permit correction of a certificate found to rest upon a serious error—say, a clerical, a mathematical, or a calculation error, in census data or in its transposition. And if that error is uncovered before new Representatives are actually selected, and its correction translates mechanically into a new apportionment of Representatives without further need for exercise of policy judgment, such mechanical revision makes good sense. In such cases, the "certificate" previously sent would have turned out not to have been a proper or valid certificate, it being understood that these statutes do not bar the substitution of a newer, more accurate version. Guided by Franklin, which found standing despite the presence of this statute, we read the statute as permitting "certificate" revision in such cases of error, and we include among them cases of court-determined legal error leading to a court-required revision of the underlying Secretarial "report." So read, the statute poses no legal bar to "redress."

North Carolina adds that another statute, enacted after Franklin, nonetheless bars our consideration of this case. That statute authorizes "[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." Pub. L. 105-119, Title II, 209(b), 111 Stat. 2481. North Carolina argues that this statute, by directly authoriz-

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