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Appropriate and necessary: The U.S. Supreme Court’s need to intervene in Bush v. Gore

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  1. Introduction.
    1. The presidential election of the year 2000.
    2. Split on ideological lines in the court
  2. The real question of whether the U.S. Supreme Court should have heard the case.
  3. Where the court erred.
    1. Neglecting to consider Title 3, Section 5 of the United States Code.
    2. Its unwillingness to defer to statutes enacted by the Florida legislature.
    3. The 'shall' and 'may' conflict.
  4. The Florida Supreme Court.
  5. The court's reasoning that manual recounts can take place even without machine error.
  6. Florida Supreme Court's ruling on Gore v. Harris ignoring the Supreme Court's remand.
    1. An ever-growing legal quagmire.
    2. The second decision that did not clarify Florida law or the court's previous ruling.
    3. Five days to conduct a full, state-wide recount.
  7. Florida Supreme Court's failure to consider the federal mandates.
  8. Conclusion.

The presidential election of the year 2000 will be the source of controversy for years to come. Since its conclusion on Dec.12, 2000, in the U.S. Supreme Court, volumes have been written criticizing the court's decision in Bush v. Gore ? which stopped hand recounts of ballots in Florida and gave George W. Bush the presidency. The justices themselves have come under considerable fire. They have been called ?treasonous? by famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, and threatened with impeachment by the San Diego County Democratic Party and Cal State San Marcos professor Mike Byron. With the court split on ideological lines, the decision certainly appears questionable, but looking back on the flood of litigation that erupted after Nov. 7, 2000 ? partisan differences aside ? should the Supreme Court have even heard the case? Did it overstep its bounds by reversing a state supreme court's interpretation of state law, or was the decision appropriate based on provisions in the U.S. Constitution and federal law?

[...] My succinct conclusion is that the majority's decision to return this case to the circuit court for a count of the under-votes from either Miami-Dade County or all counties has no foundation in the law of Florida as it existed on November or at any time until the issuance of this opinion.? Wells continues to say that under common law Gore had no justification to contest the election, and that the Florida Supreme Court had, until then, given ?deference to decisions made by executive officials charged with implementing Florida's election laws.? He further underscores the ruling of Sauls by asserting ?after an evidentiary hearing, the trial court expressly found no dishonesty, gross negligence, improper influence, or fraud in the balloting and counting processes based upon the evidence presented,? which would have constituted a contest under Florida law. [...]


[...] The court reasoned that manual recounts can take place even without machine error. By doing so, the court ignored the legislature's intent further by expanding the number of ballots that could be recounted. Under the statutes, manual recounts are to be done when there is an ?error in vote tabulation? or when misconduct is suspected. Gore did not assert misconduct, and did not show there was any error in the tabulation of votes, as the later decision, reversed by the Florida Supreme Court, of Judge N. [...]


[...] Lieberman v. Katherine Harris, etc., et al. Supreme Court of Florida So. 2d Dec Beytagh, Francis X. ?Faculty Symposium on the 2000 Presidential Election: Bush V. Gore: A Case of Questionable Jurisdiction.? 2 Fl. Coastal L.J Chemerinsky, Erwin. ?Bush V. Gore Was Not Justiciable.? 76 Notre Dame L. Rev Epstein, Richard A. ?Bush v. Gore: such Manner as the Legislature Thereof May Direct': The [...]

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