Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452, 17 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  Next

468

UTAH v. EVANS

Opinion of the Court

represents the population." P. Sukhatme, Sampling Theory of Surveys with Applications 1 (1954). A 1953 treatise, to which Utah refers, says that a broader definition of "sample" is imprecise, adding that the term "should be reserved for a set of units . . . which has been selected in the belief that it will be representative of the whole aggregate." F. Yates, Sampling Methods for Censuses and Surveys 1.1, p. 2 (2d rev. ed. 1953) (hereinafter Yates). And Census Bureau documents state that "professional statisticians" reserve the term " 'sample' . . . for instances when the selection of the smaller population is based on the methodology of their science." Report to Congress—The Plan for Census 2000, p. 23 (revised and reissued Aug. 1997) (hereinafter Report to Congress).

These definitions apply easily and naturally to what we called "sampling" in the librarian example, given its nature, methods, and immediate objectives. These definitions do not apply to the librarian's or to the Bureau's imputation process—at least not without considerable linguistic squeezing.

For another thing, Bureau statisticians testified in the District Court that, in their expert opinion, Bureau imputation was not "sampling" as that term is used in the field of statistics. Hogan ¶¶ 18-30, App. 257-262; Waksberg ¶¶ 6-10, id., at 290-294 (former Bureau statistician). Their reasons parallel those to which we have referred. Ibid. Although Utah presented other experts who testified to the contrary, Utah has not relied upon their testimony or expert knowledge here. Insofar as the parties now rely on expert opinion, that opinion uniformly favors the Government.

Further, the history of the sampling statute suggests that Congress did not have imputation in mind in 1958 when it wrote that law. At that time, the Bureau already was engaged in what it called "sampling," a practice that then involved asking a small subset of the population subsidiary census questions about, say, automobiles, telephones, or dish-

Page:   Index   Previous  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007