Was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore (in December 2000) a mistake?

Any thoughts on this?

For whom?

It was obviously terminal to several hundred thousand non-Americans. It also largely created this not so brave new world we all seem to be living in.

But I guess you’re more interested in the USA.

For reference: Bush v. Gore - Wikipedia

I meant a mistake from your own perspective.

Also, though, looking back at this, I would like to point out that, interestingly enough, Saddam Hussein (out of all people!) could have very likely ensured Al Gore’s victory in 2000 if he would have made a pre-election announcement endorsing George W. Bush. Seriously–after all, such an announcement on Saddam Hussein’s part would have probably caused some voters in Florida and elsewhere to vote for Al Gore and thus would have almost certainly caused Al Gore to win in 2000.

Right, Saddam Hussein could have won it. If only they’d known …

It reminds me of Castro’s amusing offer to send observers to the polls in Florida to help ensure it was all legit.

It was wrong. There were voting irregularities, and there needed to be a way to make sure the vote was accurate. This mattered far, far more than specific dates which resulted in making correcting the voting issues impossible. It was a decision made based on legal procedure rather than merit.

And I say this even though I’m pretty sure Bush would have still won.

Not exactly sure what your question is.

Was the decision a good one for the people of the world, the people of the United States, or did it accurately reflect what the voters of Florida wanted?

In terms of the vote in Florida, I believe that the USAToday and another newspaper reviewed the ballots in question using different criteria, and they were surprised to find that no matter how you cut it, Bush won.

Good or bad for all concerned? I’ll guess that liberals will say ‘no’ and conservatives will say ‘yes.’

What exactly, is the SCOTUS supposed to base their rulings on, if not the law?

And yet you don’t like it when they do.

A “mistake”? Sandra Day O’Conner expressed her dismay at the initial reports of a win for Gore. She wanted to retire to spend time with her husband (a dementia sufferer); a Democratic president would mean she ought to remain in DC. Clarence Thomas’s wife (who’s come out in favor of Ted Cruz) worked for the Heritage Society, vetting appointments for the Bush Administration; hey, the family needed two incomes! (Her interview on *Sunday Morning *just after the decision made me give up on that show for years; she was so glad that things were going to be “civil” in DC again & no mention was made of her hubby’s conflict of interest).

I think the justices in favor of ending the voting cast their votes most deliberately–not “by mistake.” Unlike My Jr Senator, I don’t think we need to rip of the Constitution every time we disagree with a decision by the Supremes. That branch of the government plays a long game; right thinking people will ensure that no Republican will be in a position to nominate justices. For a long time.

FWIW, whenever I have asked this question from a legal point of view, i.e. did was the Bush v. Gore decision sound legal reasoning or twisted partisan logic, I have only ever received partisan answers.

Between Bush v. Gore and Crawford v Marion County, the new millennium has not been very good for democracy.

There is no legally inevitable outcome of Bush v. Gore. There are good legal arguments on both sides. It comes down to whether you think it is more important to get an accurate vote count or whether it is more important to give the state the ability to call the election in order to get stuff done on time.

OK, here’s a non-partisan answer. The Constitution clearly establishes the selection of electors as a state-level matter. The proper venue for final resolution was the Florida Supreme Court.

Well, the majority in Bush v. Gore said this case could not be used as precedent so even they apparently didn’t think it was very sound legally.

Therein lies the problem. Without knowing you are your posts, I’d bet my house that you’re a left leaning guy who votes Democrat. Confirmation bias at work.

Finding right or wrong (mistake) in this issue is virtually impossible because it is so political.

IIRC, they looked at several ways to include or exclude problem ballots. However, they didn’t look at all the votes for Pat Buchanan from certain overwhelmingly left-leaning voter districts: those votes were clearly cast for Buchanan. The problem was the butterfly ballot, which made it look to some people the vote for Buchanan was actually a vote for Gore. Statistical analyses indicate that a tremendous number of these votes were mistaken, far more than sufficient numbers to give Florida and thus the nation to Gore.

I can’t comment on the legal issues after the fact; I don’t have the expertise. But don’t believe anyone who says that Bush’s victory in Florida was a legitimate victory: the evidence is overwhelming that he won because of a crappy ballot design.

Are there other explanations for why the court says that a decision should not be used as precedent? I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know under what circumstances the majority might say this.

So “crappy ballot design,” which I’d guess was approved by both parties, and was available both before the election and on election day, makes the election illegitimate because the voters were either not smart enough, or not interested enough to figure it out before hand?

I was pretty agnostic about the election brouhaha at the time. The only thing that really bothered me at the time was the picture of the voting board holding a ballot up to the light to ascertain “voter intent” via a slight mark or voter intent. At some point you either vote or you don’t.

It means that the election does not reflect the actual will of the majority of the voters in Florida. To me, that means it’s not a democratic election. It still may be better for the nation to go ahead with the election and to pretend it’s legitimate, for the sake of stability–I’m not prepared to argue on that issue either way. But we should be entirely clear that the chance this actually reflected the majority will of Florida voters is vanishingly small.