This week it’s back to our Web-bibliography section (usually found in Course Content) and on to yet another controversial issue – The Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2000 presidential election. As you may remember from the numerous public broadcasts issued at the time, the US Supreme Court, in effect, decided the presidential election itself, by putting and end to the recounts going on in Florida. The presidential election was so close in Florida, that a mandatory recount was ordered, and whoever won the final, Florida vote count would also win enough electors in the US electoral college to become president of the United States. Although Gore actually won the nation-wide popular vote, the Supreme Court’s decision to stop the recount gave the state of Florida and its electors to Bush, making him the new president. This week, to gain some real insight as to the workings of the court, we are going to look at that decision fairly closely. At first glance, the Court’s decision seems consciously simplistic. The heart of the issue, as far as the Court was concerned, revolved around the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. However, the Court laid out its findings in a 65 page document which contained a number of consenting and dissenting opinions. For this week’s position paper on the judiciary, I would like you to take a closer look at the Court’s decision, and at those dissenting opinions.
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