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  The Battle Over Census Sampling

Supreme Court
(Ray Lustig – The Post)
The Clinton administration's fight to use statistical sampling in the 2000 census set off a firestorm of partisan feuding as the case moved through the federal courts in 1998. At the heart of the census debate is congressional representation, state legislatures and millions of dollars in federal funding and programs.

Census Battle Decelerates in Congress
April 15, 1999
Key Republicans in Congress said they would not force a government shutdown this summer over the 2000 Census, making it increasingly likely the White House will prevail in the longstanding dispute over how to conduct the next national head count.

High Court Rejects Sampling in Census
January 26, 1999
The Supreme Court rejected the federal government's plan for using a controversial counting method to estimate portions of the nation's population in the 2000 Census, ruling in a case that carries enormous political and economic consequences for communities around the country.

High Court Clouds Scenarios for Census
January 26, 1999
Rather than resolving a bitter partisan debate, the Supreme Court's ruling on the federal government's 2000 census plan set in motion a tangled new scenario of how the next national head count will be conducted.

High Court Arguments in Census Cases Leave Little to Count On
December 1, 1998
After a vigorous session of Supreme Court arguments over how the Census Bureau will determine the U.S. population in the year 2000, some justices are skeptical about the bureau's plan to estimate a portion of the population. Many question whether the House of Representatives can sue over the plan. And most are unsure about the consequences to the states of so-called "statistical sampling," even if it is valid.

Division of Representation, Funds at Stake in Census Feud
November 27, 1998
The census sampling case goes to the foundation of how the nation counts its people, for the distribution of seats in Congress and the 50 statehouses, as well as the annual allocation of $180 billion in federal funds.

High Court to Rule on Census Sampling
September 11, 1998
The Supreme Court agreed to resolve a dispute that will determine whether the Clinton administration can use a method called statistical sampling in counting the nation's population for the 2000 census.

Census Plans Proceed Despite Court Ruling
September 7, 1998
The Clinton administration is sticking with its blueprint for the next census, despite a call from House Republicans to abandon the plan in light of a recent federal court opinion declaring it illegal.

Why People Fight So Much About the Census
August 30, 1998
The debate over sampling makes clear how much real damage has been done to the credibility of the census, a bulwark of U.S. constitutional democracy.

How Sampling Would Change The Census
August 25, 1998
For the first time with the 2000 census, the Clinton administration is proposing a new plan to conduct the census. Rather than counting every person, the government would count as many as possible, but then use information from a small, representative group to estimate the characteristics of the missing households.

Judges Reject Census Sampling
August 25, 1998
A federal court handed the Clinton administration a serious setback in its plans to use a controversial statistical method to conduct the 2000 census, declaring that the administration's proposal to estimate a portion of the nation's population rather than try to reach every household is illegal and cannot be used.

Playing Hardball On the Census
June 21, 1998
With Republicans now mobilized for all-out war against Democratic plans to conduct the census of 2000 in a way likely to reduce the chronic undercount of minorities, immigrants and the poor, the chances of the GOP's winning an uphill battle look much better. At stake are scores of seats in the legislatures and Congress and billions of dollars in government funds. – Column

Census Fight Moves Into Federal Court
June 12, 1998
A long-standing battle over how to conduct the 2000 census shifted to a federal court here, where a special three-judge panel heard arguments about whether the Census Bureau can use statistical sampling in its count.

Republicans Sue to Prevent Sampling
February 21, 1998
House Republicans filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent the Clinton administration from relying on statistical sampling to complete a national head count when it conducts the 2000 census.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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