On This Day in History… Supreme Court Decides Bush V. Gore & 2000 Presidential Election in Bush’s Favor

By Bonnie Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. She blogs at History Musings

IN FOCUS: BUSH V. GORE, ELECTION 2000

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

On this day in history…December 12, 2000, a divided U.S. Supreme Court made Republican George W. Bush president-elect over Democrat Al Gore as the justices reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida’s contested election. (The nation’s highest court agreed, 7-2, to overturn the order for a state recount and voted 5-4 that there was no acceptable procedure by which a timely new recount could take place.) (LAT)

IN THE NEWS…

     

  • Ten years after Bush v. Gore, the fight goes on: Al Gore won the popular vote by more than 500,000. But it was the contentious recount in Florida – halted by the Supreme Court – that gave it to Bush. What that meant still is being argued. Some battles in American history and politics never end, at least in terms of passionate public argument. The Civil War. The Vietnam War. Abortion. The Red Sox and the Yankees. Bush v. Gore. Fortunately, the last one did not come to violent revolution. But the end of the 2000 presidential election – marked Sunday by the 10-year anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision that made George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States – is just as debatable. The closest presidential race in US history came down to 537 votes out of 101,455,899 cast. Gore had won the popular vote by more than half a million, but it was the contentious recount in Florida – eventually halted by the Supreme Court – that gave it to Bush in the Electoral College, 271-266…. – CS Monitor, 12-12-10

QUOTES

     

  • “Voters who cast ballots incompetently are not entitled to have election officials toil to divine these voters’ intentions, Al Gore got certain Democratic-dominated canvassing boards to turn their recounts into unfettered speculations and hunches about the intentions of voters who submitted inscrutable ballots.” — George Will, Christian Science Monitor
  • George F. Will: A decade after Bush v. Gore: The passions that swirled around Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that ended 10 years ago Sunday, dissipated quickly. And remarkably little damage was done by the institutional collisions that resulted when control of the nation’s supreme political office turned on 537 votes out of 5,963,110 cast in Florida.
    Many controversies concerned whether particular votes could be said to have been cast properly. Chads are those bits of paper that, when a ballot is properly cast by puncturing spots next to candidates’ names, are separated from the ballot. In Florida, there were “dimpled” chads that were merely dented and “hanging” chads not separated from the ballots. Furthermore, there were undervotes (ballots with no vote for president) and overvotes (votes for two presidential candidates) and ill-designed (by a Democrat) butterfly ballots…. – WaPo, 12-12-10
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