2013-04-29: O’Connor Regrets Bush v. Gore

Notable Items:

Questions of jurisdiction, standing, and justiciability ignored.
Operational precedent of Tilden-Hayes election ignored.
Safe harbor provision of 3 U. S. C. §5 converted into absolute deadline for determining the election results.

Petitioner: George Bush et al.
Respondent: Albert Gore et al.
Venue: Supreme Court of the United States
Opinion of the Court: Bush v. Gore (2000)

Issue(s) Before the Court:

whether the Florida Supreme Court established new standards for resolving Presidential election contests, thereby violating Art. II, § 1, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution and fail- ing to comply with 3 U. S. C. §5, and
whether the use of standardless manual recounts violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

Petitioner's Claim(s):

[... that the Florida Supreme Court had been guilty of changing the state legislature's definition of a lawfully cast vote or of the applicable deadlines ... after the polls had closed and thus violating due process or Article II of the Constitution ....

Respondent's Claim(s):

Holding(s) and Disposition:

Held: the Florida Supreme Court's judgment ordering manual recounts is reversed.
Disposition: ... the case is remanded for further proceedings not incon- sistent with this opinion.

Material Facts:

Procedural History:


Majority Opinion (per curiam)

Rehnquist Concurrance (Scalia, Thomas) (111)

Stevens Dissent (Ginsburg, Breyer) (123)

Souter Dissent (Breyer; Stevens, Ginsburg all but Part III) (129)

Ginsburg Dissent (Stevens; Souter, Breyer Part I) (135)

Breyer Dissent (Stevens, Ginsburg but for Part I-A-1; Souter Part I) (144)

Majority Full Argument (per curiam)