Census and Your Rights
Walter E Williams on the Census
The Finest Judges Money Can Buy, and Other Forms of Judicial Pollution By Charles R Ashman 1973 Hardcover
The Constitution of the United States of America and the Declaration of Independence ~ Our Founding Fathers
Census Scared Off
Posted by: capo on Mar 10, 2010
Are you required by law to answer all the questions on the 2010 Census forms? What are the potential fines if you decide not to?
Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States requires that an "enumeration" shall be conducted every ten years "in a manner as [Congress] shall by law direct." The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that the enumeration shall consist of "counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed."
There have been no subsequent amendments to the Constitution giving Congress the authority to require an enumeration of the number of bedrooms or toilets in your house.
The first question of the 2010 Census asks, “How many were living in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?” For those who support and defend the Constitution of the United States this is where the census form should end.
But, what are the implications for the person who wishes to take a stand against the encroachments of his unalienable rights by the ever growing bureaucracy of our central government? What if you refuse to fully comply?
The census form American are about to receive in the mail, or the census workers who may appear at the doors of American homes with their GPS devices, should be able to reference only the following from Title 13 the US Code:
TITLE 13 – CENSUS
CHAPTER 7 – OFFENSES AND PENALTIES
SUBCHAPTER II – OTHER PERSONS
Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or
willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any
other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce
or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the
Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his
knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in
connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I,
II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to
the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or
farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not
more than $100.
(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a)
of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances
described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is
false, shall be fined not more than $500.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person
shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his
religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.
This is the current US Code written expressively for conducting the US Census.
However, we are dealing with a corrupt central government that claims the prerogative to interpret the law as it wishes. This is how we have come to live under a regime that believes it can declare anyone an enemy combatant and torture them up to and including the point of death.
Tsars and their apparatchiks in the US Census Bureau are not immune to this tendency operate with little to no regard for what the law actually says. The US Census Bureau has given the indication that they intend to disregard what Title 13 clearly says about limiting a person's failure to fully comply to not more than a $100 fine — a small amount to risk for many who may wish to take a stand in defense of the Constitution and the limited powers it grants to the central government.
Under the explanation of the American Community Survey (formerly the Census long form) the US Census Bureau claims the following:
"The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000."
At the bottom of its explanation, the Census Bureau provides a link to what should be the last word on the matter; Title 13 — the specific US Code for conducting the census as referred to in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution.
The Census Bureau does not provide a link to Title 18, the US Code for federal crimes and sentences, by which the Bureau claims the fine for incomplete census questionnaires is "in effect" amended and raised to "not more than $5,000".
(In his recent commentary on the census Congressman Ron Paul has repeated this claimed potential fine of up to $5,000.)
Could the Census Bureau just be flaunting a potential $5,000 fine threat to scare off those contemplating acts of non-compliance on their census forms? Here are the pertinent excerpts from Title 18, that the Census Bureau references to support its claim that Title 13 has been amended by Title 18 ? (emphasis added):
TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART II – CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 227 – SENTENCES
SUBCHAPTER A – GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 3559. Sentencing classification of offenses
(a) Classification. – An offense that is not specifically
classified by a letter grade in the section defining it, is
classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is – (1) life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a
Class A felony;
…(9) five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as
(2) Exception. – With respect to a person convicted of a
Federal offense described in paragraph (1), the court may impose
any lesser sentence that is authorized by law to take into
account any substantial assistance provided by the defendant in
the investigation or prosecution of another person who has
committed an offense, in accordance with the Federal Sentencing
Guidelines and the policy statements of the Federal Sentencing
Commission pursuant to section 994(p) of title 28, or for other
SUBCHAPTER C – FINES
Sec. 3571. Sentence of fine
(a) In General. – A defendant who has been found guilty of an
offense may be sentenced to pay a fine.
(b) Fines for Individuals. – Except as provided in subsection (e)
of this section, an individual who has been found guilty of an
offense may be fined not more than the greatest of –
(1) the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense;
…(7) for an infraction, not more than $5,000.
(e) Special Rule for Lower Fine Specified in Substantive
Provision. – If a law setting forth an offense specifies no fine or
a fine that is lower than the fine otherwise applicable under this
section and such law, by specific reference, exempts the offense
from the applicability of the fine otherwise applicable under this
section, the defendant may not be fined more than the amount
specified in the law setting forth the offense.
We Hold These Truths: A Reverent Review of the U. S. Constitution 1993 Revised Edition (Paperback) by Congressman Lawrence P. McDonald
No doubt there are more than a few federal legal counsels that will argue in favor of the Census Bureau's claim that their reading of Title 18 means that census officials can threaten Americans with up to a $5,000 fine if they refuse to answer all the bureau's prying questions. The argument of the Census Bureau comes down to this though: Though the rules the Census Bureau is authorized to operate under are clearly defined in Title 13 of the US Code, they believe that they can supersede the intent and will of the Congress on the grounds that a special rule applicable to sections in one Title of the US Code can be interpreted as an implied amendment to an unrelated Title of the US Code. ("It's good to be King" is the shorter argument here.)
If the intent of Congress (not the US Census Bureau) is that Title 18 "amends" Title 13, then Congress needs to legally amend the law set forth in Title 13. By injecting its intention to apply a section of Title 18 to override the clear statements made in sections of the unrelated Title 13, the US Census Bureau is "in effect" indicating that it intends to follow the lead of the IRS and other federal agencies to rule and intimidate the American public through their own arbitrary interpretation and enforcement of the law.
An American wishing to defend the intent of the Constitution, or simply their own privacy, against the census questionnaire should only have to be at risk of being assessed with up to a $100 fine. However, the Census Bureau, likely sensing growing opposition to its extra-constitutional efforts, is attempting to intimidate people with its contrived threat of up to a $5,000 fine.
Are they just bluffing? It probably depends on how many people call their bluff.
End Notes: There have been no pertinent changes to the above US Code cited since the 2000 census. Amendments were made to Title 13 in 1976 which struck out the provision authorizing imprisonment for not more than sixty days for refusing or willfully neglecting to answer questions and the provision for authorizing imprisonment for not more than one year for willfully giving a false answer to a question. The last time the will of the Congress was tested then, deference was afforded to the side of the people.
Disclaimer: This author will be answering the census the same way he did in 2000: Question #1 only. Though a note was attached to the partially completed census form indicating a willingness to be assessed the $100 fine, no fine was assessed