U.S. Supreme Court Stops the Recounts
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to stay all further Florida recounts is nothing short of a judicial coup d’etat (Dec. 10). The Florida Supreme Court’s decision had answered most of George W. Bush’s objections to a recount: It was to be statewide and, as implemented, the count was to be made in significant part by judges, not by local boards. But the U.S. Supreme Court has apparently concluded that Bush will suffer irreparable harm if the American electorate learns who actually got more votes in Florida. As a result, for the first time in modern history, the American president will not be chosen by the people. We should mourn the resulting blow to the legitimacy of the presidency and the Supreme Court itself.
THEODORE P. SETO
Professor, Loyola Law School
* Counting the votes would, indeed, do irreparable harm to Bush. It would make Al Gore president.
DANIEL S. HINERFELD
* It seems the electoral college now has five self-appointed super electors. Which section of the Constitution calls for, or allows, this?
* The count had to be halted because reasonable people in Florida disagreed about what is a vote. Some counties count dimpled chads as votes, others do not. No fair count is possible until the question of what is a vote is resolved. The U.S. Supreme Court isn’t opposing a fair count--the justices are halting an unfair count.
* The right wing of the Supreme Court has revealed its base hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty about federalism. Justice Antonin Scalia, especially, has proven his political bias for Republicans. These justices have done lasting damage to the credibility of the Supreme Court. Every senator who voted to confirm these hypocrites can share the blame, which, ironically, includes Gore.
* Our founding fathers intended that our court system be unbiased and that there be separation of powers between the federal government and the state governments. Five U.S. Supreme Court justices violated that tenet.