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The Census is Coming - Know Your Rights

Section 2 of the 14th amendment to our Constitution states:

"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, ..."

It further states that such representation can be reduced in proportion to the number of "male inhabitants of such State, being twenty one years of age, ..." whose right to vote is in any way abridged.

That is the only Constitutional mandate regarding the Census. Since Article I, Section 8 does not state that "Congress shall have Power To ask about the number of toilets in the homes of American citizens and demand that they answer", and the 10th Amendment specifically states that any powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states and the people, any information that the Census asks beyond that required by the Constitution is an illegal invasion of privacy.

For the past four Censuses I have answered only how many persons reside in my home. This time I will add how many are males over the age of 20. I have received followup letters and visits from Census bureaucrats demanding that I answer their additional questions "under penalty of law" and I have ignored them. I have done the same thing with questionnaires directed to my business. To my knowledge, no one has ever been prosecuted or fined for refusing to answer the additional questions asked by the Census. I believe they know that they are on shaky legal ground. They use intimidation - don't let them get away with it.

From all appearances, the Census will be even more invasive and aggressive in 2010 than in the past. Here is a statement that I found that might be useful to have on hand if a Census worker insists you answer more than that required by our Constitution:

Declaration To Make To Census Takers:

"I hereby affirm that the provisions of Title 13 requiring me to disclose my race, personal financial data, birth date, or any other personal, private information to the Bureau of the Census, an agency of the United States government, constitutes an unreasonable, unwarranted search of my person, house, papers, and/or effects, and a governmental invasion of the sanctity of my home and the privacies of life. As such, these provisions violate the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, and are thus wholly void and I am not bound to obey them.

I have completed only those sections of the Census form pertaining to the Constitutionally-mandated actual enumeration, as follows:

1. The actual number of people living at the address printed on the form, excluding untaxed Native Americans;
2. The actual number of males living at the address printed on the form that are over the age of 20.

I have thus fulfilled my obligation to the attainment of the actual enumeration of the populace of the United States.

Any fine or other sanction that is levied by any office or organization stemming from the unconstitutional provisions of Title 13 in connection with my response to this or any other Census-related questioning will be challenged in a court of law."