THE ROLE OF THE COURTS IN THE CONTESTED PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF THE YEAR 2000 IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA


Dennis the Menace to:

Flaming Parrot
Codebreaker
Thunderbolt


Have read all your comments about the Presidential Election of 2000. You have the idea that I agree with the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. But I do not agree.

For your information here is my original message which I wrote on 11 December 2000, the day BEFORE the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling that made George Bush the president-elect:

The law in Florida provides for the state's electors to be selected by the voters in the general election. If the election result is contested, the contest should begin and end as the law prescribes. That law, which was enacted by the Florida Legislature, allows candidates to ask for recounts, including manual recounts. It allows candidates to challenge the certification of electors through the courts. The Legislature's selection of its own presidential electors would set a bad precedent that places the Legislature, by definition a political body, ahead of the voters and the courts in choosing electors, and make it easier for future legislatures in any state to intervene in close elections. The Republican Party currently has the advantage in the Florida Legislature, but in a future election, the Democratic Party--or some other party--might have the advantage, and the Republicans would see the matter in an entirely different light.

Florida's electors have already been certified, pending the outcome of court challenges, so its electoral votes are not in jeopardy. The Florida Legislature should show restraint but politics being what it is that seems unlikely. I can only hope that the courts will end this election mess before the Florida Legislature turns it into a bigger one.

WILLIAM BRAHMS


When I wrote this I had in mind the contest and protest that Al Gore was waging through the Florida courts. As for the U.S. Supreme Court, they shouldn't have taken the case. That statement about saving the country from a political crisis is so much bull.



William Brahms
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