Do you remember? Of course. Who could forget?
Do you remember the logic of the Court’s decision? Of course not. Who couldn’t forget?
The Supreme Court, in a per curiam opinion, ruled that the Florida Supreme Court’s decision, calling for a statewide recount, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling was by a 7-2 vote, but (as discussed more fully in the next subsection below) two of the seven disagreed with the Court’s remedy for the Equal Protection violation. The Court held that the Equal Protection Clause guarantees to individuals that their ballots cannot be devalued by “later arbitrary and disparate treatment”. Even if the recount was fair in theory, it was unfair in practice. The record, as weighed by the Florida Supreme Court, suggested that different standards were seemingly applied to the recount from ballot to ballot, precinct to precinct, and county to county, even when identical types of ballots and machines were used.According to the Court, the statewide standard (that a “legal vote” is “one in which there is a ‘clear indication of the intent of the voter'”) could not guarantee that each county would count the votes in a constitutionally permissible fashion. The Court stated that the per curiam opinion’s applicability was “limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.” Remedy
The Court ruled 5–4 that no constitutionally valid recount could be completed by a December 12 “safe harbor” deadline. The Court asserted that “the Supreme Court of Florida has said that the legislature intended the State’s electors to ‘participat[e] fully in the federal electoral process,’ as provided in 3 U.S.C. § 5.” The Court therefore effectively ended the proposed recount, because “the Florida Legislature intended to obtain the safe-harbor benefits of 3 U.S. C. §5.”
I was so inspired that I wrote a poem, Ode to the Completed Election (Dec. 15, 2000). It was published on LewRockwell.com.
The spectacle has run its course; it’s time for celebration.
The networks now will shift concern to the inauguration.
Perhaps the viewers will forget and not seek to embarrass
The jerks who confused exit polls with word from Mrs. Harris.
The teams of lawyers will go home; they’ve made their point quite strongly.
The courts must get involved, or else the public will choose wrongly.
They’ve let us know we’re little more than children sucking licorice:
Paralyzed and helpless until lawyers get their vigorish.
Al Gore will second-guess himself, re-thinking every motion.
A surfer who just missed the wave in the electors’ ocean.
But now the wave has passed him by, too painful to be funny.
Along the shore, so blonde and sore, struts New York’s own surf bunny.
“If only this, if only that”: these thoughts will drive him bonkers.
He had so hoped to choose among the status-seeking wonkers.
He served so faithfully, he thinks, through China and Lewinsky.
And, in return, his boss’s wife is now the big butt-inski.
When games go into overtime, the players know that winners
Will be the saints, which always leaves the losers as the sinners.
And there sits Al Gore on the bench, his head low and dejected.
He’ll spend years watching replays where no vote is resurrected.
He told us all that he was sure that earth hung in the balance.
And spent a month complaining like a kid with no allowance.
The fate of Mother Earth, it seems, was really very simple.
But now she’s doomed, and just because a vote is not a dimple!
(For the remainder of this magnificent poem, click the link.)