The Courts and the 1980 Census Challenges: Tailoring Rights to Fit Remedies

This Note thus presents a vivid illustration of how the recognition of legal rights sometimes may depend wholly upon the efficacy of awarding relief. Parts I and II survey the 1980 census challenges and explore whether the 1980 litigants presented sound grievances. Part ill argues that the 1980 census challengers may have failed because the reviewing courts could envision no feasible remedies for their injuries, and not because the challengers presented flawed legal and constitutional arguments. Finally, part IV criticizes the courts for dismissing the census challenges without confronting or acknowledging the gravity of the constitutional injuries threatened by census undercounts.