STATE Attorney General Scott Harshbarger has filed suit against the US Census Bureau in an effort to keep Massachusetts from losing one of its congressional seats. The suit, filed in federal court in Boston, seeks to overturn the 1990 census. The drop recorded in Massachusetts' population means the state will lose one of its 11 seats in the House of Representatives.
The suit challenges the Census Bureau's decision to count federal employees living and working overseas. It says those people should not have been included, because the Constitution calls for the apportionment of representatives according to ``the whole numbers of persons in each state.''
In the past, the Census Bureau has interpreted this clause literally and has only counted the people living in each state, the suit said. Harshbarger said if overseas federal employees are excluded, Massachusetts would retain its 11th House member.