unprecedented 4-3 decision today, the Florida Supreme Court overturned
the decision of Circuit Court Judge N. Sanders Sauls to disallow the
ballot recount in disputed Florida counties.
The blatantly partisan decision calls for a manual recount to
immediately begin and to also allow results from recounts that was
turned in after the original court-imposed deadline.
Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had vacated the
original ruling of Florida’s high court because it had changed
Florida’s state law, whereby violating the U.S. Constitution, the
Florida court decided to overturn the strict finding of fact by the
lower circuit court.
It is absolutely indisputable that the original ruling of
Florida’s Supreme Court illegally changed Florida statute by
delaying the certification deadline, even the U.S. Supreme Court
concurs with that fact. Some
of the recount results showed up after the new court-imposed deadline
and are now being included, which clearly shows that they have again
changed Florida law by moving the deadline for the second time.
Judge Sauls, a Democrat of the lower Circuit Court, had found
that every point of Al Gore’s contest had failed to prove that any
wrongdoing or fraud existed in the contested counties.
It is the job of the lower court to be the “finder of
fact”, and the Supreme Court can only overturn if they believe the
judge had misused his judicial discretion in finding those facts.
So, in essence, the Florida Supreme Court is saying that Judge
Sauls misused his discretion on every single count of the Gore
contest, a position that has no chance of being substantiated.
The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, one of the
three justices to dissent from the majority decision today, cited that
he felt the ruling would not survive the inevitable scrutiny of the U.
S. Supreme Court. It is
clear that the four concurring justices on the court were finding any
way possible to keep Al Gore in a race that he has already lost.
It is also widely speculated that the ruling was to
intentionally slight the Florida Legislature who had indicated the
possible intent to send Bush electors to the Electoral College no
matter what any court decisions may be.
The Bush team has said that the ruling came as no surprise to
them given the courts liberal, activist history, and they have already
made plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The non-stop claiming by the Gore Campaign of the
existence of so-called “undervotes” that have not yet been counted
is an outright lie. Every
vote has been counted, and recounted, and recounted again.
Just because some people chose not to vote for President is not
an open invitation for Gore to claim those votes for himself. It is also a lie that Gore wants every vote counted. In fact,
it is clear that he only wants the votes recounted that were cast in
heavily Democratic areas. This
transparently partisan ruling of the Florida Supreme Court will
certainly not survive the U.S. Supreme Court.
The concurring justices know this, and are clearly taking a
stand for their party instead of upholding the law.
This time, however, the U.S. Supreme Court will not be so
polite in its ruling. It
will, I believe in very strong language, chastise the court for
changing and breaking the law twice.
The Gore supporters are cheering for now, but all the ruling
from the Florida Supreme Court did was to add four more candidates to
be potential appointees in a Gore Administration, which, by the way,
will never see the light of day.
The “Kingfish” is a political analyst from Louisiana and is an expert commentator on Louisiana as well as National politics. He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Political Science.
Click Here to receive Political USA updates and exclusives
Join the conversation about the election...
© Dorothy Anne Seese, 2000
View expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political USA.