By Richard A. Posner
The 2000 Presidential election led to a collision of historical past, legislations, and the courts. It produced a impasse that dragged out the end result for over a month, and consequences--real and imagined--that promise to tug on for years. within the first in-depth examine of the election and its litigious aftermath, pass judgement on Posner surveys the historical past and thought of yankee electoral legislation and perform, analyzes which Presidential candidate ''really'' gained the preferred vote in Florida, surveys the litigation that ensued, evaluates the courts, the attorneys, and the commentators, and ends with a blueprint for reforming our Presidential electoral practices.
The publication starts off with an outline of the electoral technique, together with its heritage and guiding theories. It seems subsequent on the Florida election itself, exploring which candidate ''really'' gained and no matter if this is often even a significant query. the point of interest then shifts to the advanced litigation, either nation and federal, provoked by means of the picture end. at the foundation of the pragmatic jurisprudence that pass judgement on Posner has articulated and defended in his prior writings, this booklet deals an alternate justification for the ideal Court's choice in Bush v. Gore whereas praising the court docket for avoiding the chaotic effects of an unresolved deadlock.
Posner additionally evaluates the functionality of the legal professionals who performed the post-election litigation and of the lecturers who commented at the unfolding drama. He argues that neither Gore's nor Bush's legal professionals blundered heavily, yet that the response of the criminal professoriat to the litigation uncovered severe flaws within the educational perform of constitutional legislations. whereas rejecting such radical strikes as abolishing the Electoral collage or making a nationwide poll, Posner concludes with a close plan of possible reforms designed to prevent a repetition of the 2000 election fiasco.
Lawyers, political scientists, pundits, and politicians are ready to listen to what pass judgement on Posner has to claim. yet this publication is written for and should be welcomed by means of all who have been riveted by way of the hot challenge of presidential succession.
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Additional resources for Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts
IX, esp. chs. one zero one, 102. three. Fla. Stat. § 102. 111(1). four. Palm seashore County Canvassing Board v. Harris, 772 So. second 1273, 1288 and n. 19 (Fla. 2000) (per curiam). five. Fla. Stat. §§ 102. 112(1), 102. 166(1), (4)(a), (4)(c). 6. Fla. Stat. § 102. 166(5). 7. Fla. Stat. § 102. 166(5)(c). eight. Fla. Stat. § 102. 112(1). The previous part (§ 102. 111(1)) says “shall be —93— —– bankruptcy three as soon as the secretary of nation has acquired the county totals and authorized the winner of the election, the loser can “contest” the result through submitting a lawsuit opposed to the canvassing board or forums that he contends miscounted ballots. If he can exhibit within the contest go well with that adequate “legal votes” have been rejected within the anticipate which the secretary of kingdom relied to “change or position doubtful the results of the election,” the courtroom can “provide any aid applicable less than such conditions. ”9 The statute doesn't outline “legal vote,” however it does say that no vote is to be declared invalid if, notwithstanding the poll is “damaged or defective,” there's “a transparent indication of the rationale of the voter as made up our minds via the canvassing board. ”10 not one of the hand recounts sought through Gore, other than the single in Volusia County, used to be entire by means of November 14, and Katherine Harris, the Republican secretary of kingdom, refused to increase the cut-off date. She interpreted the statute to hinder an extension until fraud, statutory violations, or a few average catastrophe (a typhoon, for instance) or different disaster had interrupted the recount. eleven None of those dire situations had happened. Harris’s subordinate, L. Clayton Roberts, the director of the department of elections within the division of country, interpreted (undoubtedly with Harris’s concurrence) the statutory time period “error within the vote tabulation”—the precondition to an entire countywide hand recount—to suggest the failure of a tabulating computing device to count number safely marked ballots, instead of the machine’s failing to list a vote as the voter both had now not the directions for casting a legitimate, machine-readable vote or had now not complained to a precinct employee ignored,” making a flat inconsistency within the statute. i've got no quarrel with the Florida preferrred court’s who prefer “may,” which used to be additionally the location taken through the secretary of kingdom. nine. Fla. Stat. §§ 102. 168(3)(c), (e)(8). 10. Fla. Stat. § a hundred and one. 5614(5). eleven. Her assertion is quoted in Palm seashore County Canvassing Board v. Harris, 772 So. 2nd at 1226 n. five, the choice the U. S. splendid court docket vacated and remanded lower than the identify Bush v. Palm seashore County Canvassing Board. —94— The Postelection fight within the Courts —– if the directions couldn't be as the balloting computer was once faulty. 12 The dimpled and dangling chads stumbled on within the hand recounts have been the results of electorate’ both failing to stick to the directions or, if the vote casting laptop itself used to be faulty, failing to hunt the help of one of many precinct election employees. We needs to have in mind that below the Florida election code merely blunders within the tabulation of the vote authorize the canvassing board to reserve a whole hand recount of the county’s votes.