Skip to comments.Justices defend Florida recount decision ('had no choice but to intervene' in the Florida fiasco)
Posted on 01/24/2007 11:26:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - Three of the five Supreme Court justices who handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000 say they had no choice but to intervene in the Florida recount.
Comments from Justice Anthony Kennedy and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor are in a new book that was published this week. Justice Antonin Scalia made his remarks Tuesday at Iona College in New York.
Scalia, answering questions after a speech, also said that critics of the 5-4 ruling in Bush v. Gore need to move on six years after the electoral drama of December 2000, when it seemed the whole nation hung by a chad awaiting the outcome of the presidential election.
"It's water over the deck get over it," Scalia said, drawing laughs from his audience. His remarks were reported in the Gannett Co.'s Journal-News.
The court's decision to halt the recount of Florida's disputed election results, thus giving Bush the state's electoral votes, has been heavily criticized as an example of the court overstepping its bounds and, worse, being driven by politics.
Rather than let the recount take place and leave state officials and possibly Congress to determine the outcome of the election, the court's five conservative justices decided to intervene.
They eventually overturned a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court and halted the recount of the state's disputed election results 36 days after the voting. The decision effectively gave Bush Florida's electoral votes and the presidency by 537 votes.
"A no-brainer! A state court deciding a federal constitutional issue about the presidential election? Of course you take the case," Kennedy told ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg in her new book, "Supreme Conflict."
Kennedy said the justices didn't ask for the case to come their way. Then-Vice President Al Gore's legal team involved the courts in the election by asking a state court to order a recount, Kennedy said.
Legal scholars and the four dissenting justices have said the Supreme Court should have declined to jump into the case in the first place.
In a decision made public on the evening of Dec. 12, 2000, the court said the recount violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because Florida counties were allowed to set their own standard for determining whether to count a vote.
"Counting somebody else's dimpled chad and not counting my dimpled chad is not giving equal protection of the law," Scalia said at Iona. Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who died in 2005, also were part of the majority.
O'Connor said the Florida court was "off on a trip of its own."
She acknowledged, however, that the justices probably could have done a better job with the opinion if they hadn't been rushed.
Still, O'Connor said the outcome of the election would have been the same even if the court had not intervened.
She was referring to studies that suggest Bush would have won a recount limited to counties that Gore initially contested, although other studies said Gore might have prevailed in a statewide recount.
Good thing I refreshed the main page. I was just about to post this!
This woman is either purposely misleading or stupid. Two reasons that should disqualify you to become a justice on the S.C.
It's been on the wire for awhile. :-)
Some interesting comments.
My memory about this horrible time in our nation's history has mercifully faded, but I thought the Supreme Court ruled that Florida could recount the votes, but they had to recount ALL the votes, not just Al Gore's handpicked Democratic districts.
My, my. How objective and impartial. The article neglects to mention that the DEMS were the ones who initially appealed to the courts for help. But as all should know, only the ACLU has the right to take an appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. (see tagline)
You can bet this shill would state that differently if the Subpreme court had kept the counting and fiddling by the fla court open until the democraps could create enough ballots to give it al goreghoul.
"The court's decision to halt the recount of Florida's disputed election results, thus giving Bush the state's electoral votes, has been heavily criticized as an example of the court overstepping its bounds and, worse, being driven by politics.
Rather than let the recount take place and leave state officials and possibly Congress to determine the outcome of the election, the court's five conservative justices decided to intervene."
No, no, no, the Supreme Court did not decide to intervene. Two cases were brought before them and they decided to hear those cases.
"They eventually overturned a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court"
The ruling by the Florida Supreme Court changed Florida election law. This decision by the FSC was not based on any case. It was an attempt by the Florida judges to create or change law rather than interpret it. This is what we call an activist court. The action was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
"...and halted the recount of the state's disputed election results 36 days after the voting."
No, no, no. The US Supreme Court did not say cease and desist to all counting. The court ruled, in essence, count away but count the entire state, not just a tiny selected pocket of it. As a result, Al Gore collected his marbles (some of them anyway) and went home.
Thus began six years of Bush Bashing, bitterness on the part of the Democratic Party, and partisan hatred and hysteria that continues to damage our nation to this day.
At least that's how I remember it. Whoever wrote that AP article should give up journalism and try another career. Burger King is always hiring.
the USSC objected to...
some ballots examined by hand on Nov14,
w/decisions by the independedent county canvassing board.
to be added to...
the rest of the ballots, consider undervotes only.
w/decisions from the FL. state courts
"... handed the presidency ..."
I love how they make this stuff up. Bush WON! And .. the reason I'm sure of that is because of some little known actions that were taken by the drive-by media.
One year after the 2000 election, as the law allows, several media groups, including the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the rest of the assorted lefties in the news media, petitioned the govt for a recount. They paid their money for the priviledge (hundreds of thousands of dollars) .. and began the recount. NOT ONE TIME DURING THE MANY RECOUNTS WERE THEY EVER ABLE TO ESTABLISH THAT GORE WON THE ELECTION; ONLY IF THEY CHEATED. SO AFTER MANY, MANY RECOUNTS - IT WAS FINALLY DETERMINED THAT BUSH DID WIN THE ELECTION - AND THE ACTUAL RECOUNT NUMBER WAS SOMETHING LIKE 1500 - instead of 537.
The fact that the same media groups NEVER REVEALED THIS INFORMATION EXCEPT ON THE BACK PAGES OF THEIR NEWSPAPERS - and never on the internet .. approximately 35% of Americans still believe Gore won the election. When you have media groups willing to deceive the public in order keep the hatred of Bush viable, that's more than dispicable .. it's traitorous.
Once they pulled off that deception .. the lies about the war were a cinch.
And .. as far as the courts were concerned .. the FL Supreme court were the ones who RE-WROTE the election laws of FL .. which is illegal. Once the election is in progress .. you cannot change the laws. This was the real reason the USSC stepped in to stop the fiasco.
All the court action was also deceptively reported on over and over and over. It ended with - the USSC "... handed the presidency to Bush ..." as if he hadn't actually won it.
I've never forgiven the media for this total deception.
'Forgive' them? You aren't naive enough to have believed they wouldn't lie to you. You don't forgive the sworn enemy who is doing everything it can to destroy you, you kill it. And that's what the Net is doing, little by little. I only hope there's enough time to save the nation from the corrosion the mainstream media bastards have created.
Well that's clear as mud.
I'll check in tomorrow to see if someone else answered my question in a way that is understandable.
I said, "I've never forgiven them ..."
So what are you complaining about now ..??
Well, the opening sentance of this article certainly proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's no bias at AP!
Al Gore made the decision on election night to destroy any normalcy that this country knew before that night. It has and never will be the same ever again. Al Gore is responsible for the the way politics is now fought and how the office of the President of the U.S.A. is treated so cheaply by the world.
Al Gore has taken this country to new lows every single time he has opened his mouth and allowing this disgrace to go on for well over a month made us a laughing stock globally.
I would love to sit here and blame Al Gore for just about every single problem we face as a nation today because of his and the DNC's election antics because Lord knows George W. Bush sure has taken the blame for everything under the sun since the election of 2000.
The bastard Gore destroyed this country the night he decided to withdraw his concession.
Al Gore deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life and not walking down the red carpet getting an Oscar in a month for a pile of shit documentary. He sold this country out with Clinton and put himself first before his country when it came time to the national election.
He can go to hell.
Amen and precisely the point.
It was close, very close. You play by the rules, there were two recounts according to the rules. Gore lost.
Anyone who cared more about the country than himself would have accepted the rules. Nixon did at least as much in 60.
Gore chose himself over the good of the country - and forever jepordized the confidence of the ballot box. A very damaging act for the republic.
This should haunt him forever. He should be a pariah and his public career should be over.
"Three of the five Supreme Court justices who handed the presidency to George W. Bush..."
Bullcr*p. No one "handed" George W. Bush anything - he won the election according to American law and electoral precedent.
Gee, nothing biased here. I saw no point in going any farther.
No problem with your memory, freelancer. That's exactly how it went down.