Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452, 23 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  Next



Opinion of the Court

or friend. But it may not rely upon imputation, which fills in data by assuming, for example, that an unknown house has the same population characteristics as those of the closest similar house nearby.

We do not believe the Constitution makes the distinction that Utah seeks to draw. The Constitution's text does not specify any such limitation. Rather, the text uses a general word, "enumeration," that refers to a counting process without describing the count's methodological details. The textual word "actual" refers in context to the enumeration that will be used for apportioning the Third Congress, succinctly clarifying the fact that the constitutionally described basis for apportionment will not apply to the First and Second Congresses. The final part of the sentence says that the "actual Enumeration" shall take place "in such Manner as" Congress itself "shall by Law direct," thereby suggesting the breadth of congressional methodological authority, rather than its limitation. See, e. g., Wisconsin v. City of New York, 517 U. S. 1, 19 (1996).

The history of the constitutional phrase supports our understanding of the text. The Convention sent to its Committee of Detail a draft stating that Congress was to "regulate the number of representatives by the number of inhabitants, . . . which number shall . . . be taken in such manner as . . . [Congress] shall direct." 2 M. Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, pp. 178, 182-183 (rev. ed. 1966) (hereinafter Farrand). After making minor, here irrelevant, changes, the Committee of Detail sent the draft to the Committee of Style, which, in revising the language, added the words "actual Enumeration." Id., at 590, 591. Although not dispositive, this strongly suggests a similar meaning, for the Committee of Style "had no authority from the Convention to alter the meaning" of the draft Constitution submitted for its review and revision. Powell v. McCormack, 395 U. S. 486, 538-539 (1969); see 2 Farrand 553; see also Nixon v. United States, 506 U. S. 224, 231 (1993).

Page:   Index   Previous  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007