The Legal Lessons of the 2000 Elections

4 April 2015
This paper examines the legal lessons and considers the results of the Supreme Court case of Bush vs. Gore.

This paper argues that the court should in fact have accepted the case for review and then considers how the court may be seen to have acquitted itself in the decision that it made. The argument here is thus not about who should have won the election, not about who was the better man for the job or even about whether the Electoral College should be scrapped . Rather, this paper looks at the more limited topic of the role of the American judiciary and how that role may have been changed by the court’s decision in this case.
From the paper:

There are a number of sets of related issues that most be considered in assessing how the court performed. One of these, which we shall get to momentarily, is that of the legal soundness of the decision itself. This is actually in some ways not as important as it might seem that it should be because while it is certainly arguable that this was a bad decision (even if one likes the result one might still argue this). Courts, after all, make bad decisions all the time. This is why the practice of law is an iterative one: Good future decisions can compensate for bad past ones.

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