The constitutional requirement for the Census is found in Article. I. Section. 2. Paragraph. 3. "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."
The purpose of the Census is that of counting the US population in order to apportion among the states the number of representatives in the US House of Representatives. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
There is nothing in the Constitution requiring or even suggesting questions regarding race, ethnicity, whether one owns or rents his or her home, income status, disability status, education, or anything of the sort. The only purpose of the Census is to count the US population. Anything beyond that is nothing more than an intrusive government prying and snooping into our lives: something the federal government is doing with greater and greater frequency and intensity these days.
As to the phrase, "[As] they shall by Law direct," Paul Galvin rightly notes, "This language merely goes to the mechanics of the counting (who will do it; when it is to be done; how, when results are to be reported; and so forth); it does not enlarge what may be counted. Constitutionally the only permitted enumeration is the number of people in the United States. Why? Because that count is the determinant for apportionment and therefore the only pertinent information needed."
See Galvin’s column at:
In the original Census of 1790, the information requested was simply the number of persons in each household and the name of the head of each family. That’s it. Accordingly, when I filled out my Census form earlier this week, the only information I provided was my name (as the head of my household) and the number of people living in my home. The rest of it I left blank.
Furthermore, the idea that the information gathered about us via the unconstitutional and invasive Census form will not be shared with anyone is so ludicrous it is laughable. The federal government passes around virtually everything it learns about us to any number of departments and agencies. Does anyone really believe that all the information obtained with this unconstitutional Census form will be locked away in a vault somewhere, never to be used or shared? What a crock! Why, the federal government cannot even ensure that its own employees will abide by its own rules.
Consider the new full-body scanners that are being installed in airports all around the country. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assures passengers that the photos of their naked bodies are not pornographic and will not be stored or shared. Of course, we can trust the federal government to tell us the truth, right?
First, are the images pornographic? You be the judge. Check out this online story. I caution you, however: there are actual images of naked bodies taken with an airport full-body scanner included in this story. But if you are offended at what you see, remember that this is potentially what TSA agents will be looking at every time you, your wife, your son, your daughter, or your father and mother board a commercial jetliner.
See the story at:
So, will someone please tell me how the scanned images taken of the naked bodies of small children by these airport full-body scanners do not constitute child pornography? Good grief! Some parents have been arrested for possessing child porn for something as innocent as taking photos of their small children in a bathtub. Yet, TSA agents will be photographing nude images of small children all day long in a private video booth at an airport check-in, and not only will they not be arrested, THEY WILL GET PAID FOR IT.
Beyond that, there are already documented cases where airport screeners have stored and shared the naked images of people. According to published reports, "Claims on behalf of authorities that naked body scanner images are immediately destroyed after passengers pass through new x-ray backscatter devices have been proven fraudulent after it was revealed that naked images of Indian film star Shahrukh Khan were printed out and circulated by airport staff at Heathrow in London."
See the report at:
Would you trust your neighbor–or your friends at church or work–with photos of your naked body or the naked bodies of your wife and children? Then, why would you trust an employee of the federal government? And why would you trust federal bureaucrats at the Census Bureau to keep private any and all information you give them via the Census form?
But whether you care or don’t care that the federal government sticks its nose into your private affairs–or that its employees gawk at your naked images–is really beside the point. The fact is, it is totally unconstitutional for the federal government to behave in such a manner, and those citizens who do not object to this unconstitutional conduct are facilitating the demise of their own liberties. They should be ashamed of themselves!
What is even worse is the number of churches that are cooperating with and facilitating the advancement of this unconstitutional Census. I see churches in my area advertising for their congregants to become Census-takers. Of course, each of these workers will be schooled in how to cajole or even coerce members of their communities to participate in an unconstitutional Census, and to give up personal information that is absolutely beyond the proper purpose and scope of the Census. Shame on those churches! Shame on those pastors!
I also include the following two links for readers to use in helping them to understand and fulfill their duties under the US Constitution. This one might be helpful when a Census worker attempts to harangue and threaten you with a $5,000 fine if you do not answer all his or her questions:
By the way, should a Census worker come to my home and demand that I answer the questions I left blank, I will simply plead my 5th Amendment/Miranda rights to "remain silent." What are they going to say to that?
This one contains a sample letter that some have mailed back with their Census forms:
As for me and my house, along with the form completed as stated above, I put this note in the Census envelope (this was forwarded to me by an unknown source. I would give them credit, if I knew who it was):
"Article I, Section 2 of the US Constitution gives Congress the right to ENUMERATE the number of citizens in order to apportion members of congress: ‘The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.’
"Enumerate means ‘to count, or determine the number of’. Congress can COUNT the number of citizens–but it can’t demand to know what race we are, how much we earn, how many big screen TVs we own, etc. So when I get the census forms, I fill out the first question (the one asking how many people live at my home), then paste a copy of Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution right below that, along with a statement that I have fulfilled my duty as a citizen by helping them enumerate, and I’m not required to answer any more questions."
Participating in the national Census is an honor for every US citizen. Each of us should be thankful for the constitutional republic that was bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers. Under that Constitution, therefore, I am proud to have my household counted in the US Census in order to apportion among the states the number of representatives in the US House of Representatives. But, as I am expected to live under the laws and duties of the US Constitution, so is the federal government. Hence, I answered only those two questions that are constitutionally prescribed and refused to answer any and all others.
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Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 37 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. See Chuck’s complete bio at: