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I used to respect the US Supreme Court. Then I read part of their recent 5-4 decision against Al Gore. I'll admit it, I'm a flaming liberal who has wanted to see Gore win from the beginning. If the ballots had been fully counted and George W. Bush had won, I would've accepted that. If the US Supreme Court had found some sound reason why those recounts should not go on, I would've accepted that. However, I do not believe either of these requirements were satisfied. Here are some quotes from the majority opinion:
"The Supreme Court of Florida has said that the legislature intended the State's electors to 'participate fully in the federal electoral process' ... as provided in 3 U.S.C. 5.
"That statute, in turn, requires that any controversy or contest that is designed to lead to a conclusive selection of electors be completed by December 12. That date is upon us, and there is no recount procedure in place under the State Supreme Court's order that comports with minimal constitutional standards.
"Because it is evident that any recount seeking to meet the December 12 date will be unconstitutional for the reasons we have discussed, we reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering a recount to proceed. Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy. .... The only disagreement is as to the remedy.

I find this to be completely insane. The Supreme Court, the most revered body in all our government, is claiming that the recounts cannot go on because they cannot be finished in time. Why can't they be finished in time? Because the Supreme Court suspended the recounts instead of ruling on their constitutionality after they were finished, and then delivered their opinion at the end of the day the recounts supposedly needed to be over by. December 12th isn't even the last day for electors to be chosen, it's just the last day of safe harbor. The electors do not really have to be chosen until December 18th! The dissenting opinion says something similar:
"If this Court had allowed the State to follow the course indicated by the opinions of its own Supreme Court, it is entirely possible that there would ultimately have been no issue requiring our review, and political tension could have worked itself out in the Congress following the procedure provided in 3 U.S.C. 15. The case being before us, however, its resolution by the majority is another erroneous decision ....
"As will be clear, I am in substantial agreement with the dissenting opinions of Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer. I write separately only to say how straightforward the issues before us really are .... In deciding what to do about this, we should take account of the fact that electoral votes are due to be cast in six days. I would therefore remand the case to the courts of Florida with instructions to establish uniform standards for evaluating the several types of ballots that have prompted differing treatments, to be applied within and among counties when passing on such identical ballots in any further recounting (or successive recounting) that the courts might order.
Unlike the majority, I see no warrant for this Court to assume that Florida could not possibly comply with this requirement before the date set for the meeting of electors, December 18."


I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I was naive before, now I see just how partisan the US Supreme Court really is. I may be paranoid, but realize the following:
The majority is made up of the kinds of justices George W. Bush is likely to appoint.
Many members of that majority--Rehnquist, Scalia--are likely to retire during Bush's term.
Bush will appoint the replacements for those justices.

Somehow, I just have a problem with this situation.
Many Democrats and other liberals were mad and are still mad at the Supreme Court's decision involving the 2000 presidential election. The Supreme Court was correct in its decision based on law, as the history books will show in the future.

One reason they used time for the ruling was as an exuse for the fact that they really couldn't let the Florida Supreme Court do a recount. The Constitution says that the state legislature picks the electors, and I quote Article II "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector." Had the Florida Supreme Court declared Al Gore the winner, it would not have mattered. The Legislative Branch chooses the true electors. Court appointed electors don't mean anything. That is the legal fact. Maybe that is not fair, but that is what the Constitution, the most important document the Supreme Court has to go by, says. Balance between the three branches of government is one of the most important principles in our system of government. We would have had a real Constitional Crisis on our hands had the US Supreme Court allowed for a major battle over power between branches.

Also, the main other problem with the recount is that there were no standards, so the count was completely unfair. Leon County I believe, counted votes on 4 times as many undervotes as Palm Beach. They seemed to count a vote if there was even a scratch on a ballot. I think everyone, even 7-2 US Supreme Court, realized we needed standard sets of rules for what votes to count and what to not count. The problem with this is that because of a constitutional issue, and common sense, you can't change the rules of the election during the election, the new rules affect the new election. We all agree Florida needs new election laws, but it isn't right if they affect something that has already happened.

The Constituion is what the US Supreme Court had to go by when making decisions. This has always been the case, it is their most important guidance during judicial decisions. The Constitution is not always totally fair, but it is what we must go by. This decision has made me respect the US Supreme Court even more. By the way, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court went against them ordering the recounts, a Democrat. This wasn't a completely partisan decision at least. This was about the Constitution, not about what was directly fair or not.
The U.S. Supreme Court should never have taken this case. It is a political question. Basically, the Supreme Court was making public policy. That is not what they are to do. In the Constitution, the Congress makes the policy and the Court interprets the policy.

This is not all that dissimliar from the Dred Scott case. Chief Justice Roger Tawney took this case to set the policy of slaves in the entire country.

Dred Scott was a slave who traveled into the free states with his master. Upon his return to the south he declared that since he set foot on free soil, he should be free. The opinion of the court was that slaves would be slaves throughout the country. This meant that slavery could not be illegal in any state, regardless of whether it was north or south.

Roger Tawney tried to set the country's policy in the 1850s. Eventually, this decision fueled the Civil War.

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