(PatriotWise.com) — Details of the Supreme Court’s decision to award the US Presidency to George W Bush in 2000 have just been made public. The Library of Congress released the papers from the archives of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on May 2nd, and they include handwritten notes Stevens took when the Justices deliberated the case.
The US Presidential election of 2000 is one of the most controversial in recent history. The contest pitted Republican George W. Bush, son of former President George HW Bush, against Democrat Al Gore. Gore had served as Vice President under Bill Clinton and won the Democratic nomination relatively easily.
When the results came in on election night, it was too close to call in Florida – a state led by the Republican candidate’s brother Jeb Bush. The result in the Sunshine State was so close that state law demanded a recount.
News networks declared Florida for Bush, then retracted and said Gore had taken it, then again switched back to Bush. With all votes declared counted, Bush was ahead by 2,000, but a recount reduced this to just over 300. Overseas ballots increased it to above 900, while Gore demanded another recount in four counties that traditionally voted Democrat. Finally, on November 26th, after the State Supreme Court stepped in and put guidance and deadlines in place, Florida was called for Bush. Gore appealed the matter to the US Supreme Court.
The Court was split 7-2 on whether the Florida Court should have allowed a recount, and divided 5-4 on preventing any further counts, thereby ending the process. The decision to allow no additional counts handed the Presidency to George W. Bush.
Justice Stevens had voted against awarding the Presidency to Bush, along with David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. The five conservatives Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, all voted to end the Florida counts and hand the White House to Bush.
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