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Hearing for Utah suit over census is delayed

The hearing scheduled for Utah's lawsuit against the Census Bureau, which attempts to take the reapportioned House seat from North Carolina, has been postponed.

Judge Dee Benson was going to hear the case March 20 but is still recovering from surgery he had last week. Benson's office has not yet rescheduled the hearing, but it is anticipated for the last week in March, he said.

The state's team of attorneys has been seeking a quick decision in the case so that Utah can move forward with redrawing political boundaries, but Tom Lee, lead counsel in the case, says this setback probably won't cause any problems.

"A couple of days here or there probably won't make a difference," he said.

Utah filed the lawsuit against the federal government in January claiming that to count some overseas residents, such as military personnel, and not others, such as religious missionaries, is unconstitutional. North Carolina's large overseas military population gave the state 857 more people than Utah, and North Carolina was granted an additional congressional representative.