Cite as: 536 U. S. 452 (2002)
Opinion of the Court
washers, and extrapolating the responses to produce national figures about, say, automobile ownership. See M. Anderson, The American Census: A Social History 199 (1988) (discussing "long form" survey, sent in 1950 to about 20% of population). The Secretary of Commerce asked Congress to enact a law that would make clear the Bureau had legal authority to engage in this "practice." Amendment of Title 13, United States Code, Relating to Census: Hearing on H. R. 7911 before the House Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service, 85th Cong., 1st Sess., 7 (1957) (Statement of Purpose and Need) (Secretary of Commerce, describing Bureau's ability to obtain "some . . . information . . . efficiently through a sample survey . . . rather than a complete enumeration basis"). The Secretary did not object to a legislative restriction that would, in effect, deny the Bureau sampling authority in the area of apportionment. And Congress, in part to help achieve cost savings, responded with the present statute which provides that limited authority. See S. Rep. No. 698, 85th Cong., 1st Sess., 3 (1957) ("[P]roper use of sampling methods can result in substantial economies in census taking"); S. Rep. No. 94-1256, p. 5 (1976) ("use of sampling procedures and surveys . . . urged for the sake of economy and reducing respondent burden").
This background suggests that the "sampling" to which the statute refers is the practice that the Secretary called "sampling" at the time—for that is what Congress considered. And it suggests that the statutory word does not apply to imputation—for that is a matter that Congress did not consider. Indeed, had the Secretary believed that Congress intended to restrict the Bureau's authority to engage in apportionment-related imputation, he would likely have expressed an objection, for the Bureau had used such imputation in the past and intended to use it in the future. Hogan ¶ 39, App. 266-267. Moreover, the Bureau's rationale for using sampling was quite different from its rationale for using imputation. An advance plan to sample a subset saves
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