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THE  SUPREME  COURT  EXPLAINED

 By Mark H. Levine, Esq.

Q:  
I'm not a lawyer and I don't understand the recent Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore.  Can you explain it to me?

A:  
Sure.  I'm a lawyer.  I read it.  It says  Bush wins, even if Gore got the most votes.

Q:  
But wait a second.  The US Supreme Court has to give a reason, right?

A:  
Right.

Q:  
So Bush wins because hand-counts are illegal?

A:  
Oh no.  Six of the justices (two-thirds majority) believed the hand-counts were legal and should be done.

Q:  
Oh.  So the justices did not believe that the hand-counts would find any legal ballots?

A:  
Nope.  The five conservative justices clearly held (and all nine justices agreed) 
"that punch card balloting machines can produce an unfortunate number of ballots which are not punched in a clean,
complete way by the voter."  So there are legal votes that should be counted but can't be.

Q:  
Oh.  Does this have something to do with states' rights?  Don't conservatives love that?

A:  
Generally yes.  These five justices have held that the federal government has no business 
telling a sovereign state university it can't steal trade secrets just because such stealing 
is prohibited by law.  Nor does the federal government have any business telling a state that 
it should bar guns in schools.  Nor can the federal government use the equal protection clause to 
force states to take measures to stop violence against women.

Q:  
Is there an exception in this case?

A:  
Yes, the Gore exception.  States have no rights to have their own state elections when it can 
result in Gore being elected President.  This decision is limited to only this situation.

Q:  
C'mon.  The Supremes didn't really say that.  You're exaggerating.

A:  
Nope.  They held "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, or the problem of 
equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

Q:  
What complexities?

A:  
They don't say.

Q: 
I'll bet I know the reason.  I heard Jim Baker say this.  The votes can't be counted because the 
Florida Supreme Court "changed the rules of the election after it was held."  Right?

A:  
Dead wrong.  The US Supreme Court.

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