Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452, 24 (2002)

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

Opinion of the Court

Hence, the Framers would have intended the current phrase, "the actual Enumeration shall be made . . . in such Manner as [Congress] . . . shall by Law direct," as the substantive equivalent of the draft phrase, "which number [of inhabitants] shall . . . be taken in such manner as [Congress] shall direct." 2 Farrand 183. And the Committee of Style's phrase offers no linguistic temptation to limit census methodology in the manner that Utah proposes.

Moreover, both phrases served to distinguish the census from the process of apportionment for the first Congress. Read in conjunction with the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, the text of Article I makes clear that the original allocation of seats in the House was based on a kind of "conjectur[e]," 1 id., at 578-579, in contrast to the deliberately taken count that was ordered for the future. U. S. Const., Art. I, 2, cl. 3; 1 Farrand 602; 2 id., at 106; 2 The Founders' Constitution 135-136, 139 (P. Kurland & R. Lerner eds. 1987) (hereinafter Kurland & Lerner); see also Department of Commerce, 503 U. S., at 448, and n. 15; post, at 498- 500 (Thomas, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part) (describing colonial estimates). What was important was that contrast—rather than the particular phrase used to describe the new process.

Contemporaneous general usage of the word "enumeration" adds further support. Late-18th-century dictionaries define the word simply as an "act of numbering or counting over," without reference to counting methodology. 1 S. Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language 658 (4th rev. ed. 1773); N. Bailey, An Etymological English Dictionary (26th ed. 1789) ("numbering or summing up"); see also Webster's Third New International Dictionary 759 (1961 ed.) ("the act of counting," "a count of something (as a population)"). Utah's strongest evidence, a letter from George Washington contrasting a population "estimate" with a "census" or "enumeration," does not demonstrate the contrary, for one can indeed contrast, say, a rough estimate with an


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