According to a report, Supreme Court records revealed on Tuesday that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor supplied the early framework that directed the result of the fight over the 2000 presidential election that ensured that George W. Bush would prevail in the White House against Al Gore.
The recently released papers belonging to the late Justice John Paul Stevens reveal, for the first time, the inner workings of the Supreme Court during the Bush v. Gore discussions. They also show the pressure that the nine justices were under to make a quick decision in a presidential election.
The report suggests that O’Connor’s dominance as the court’s ideological leader is not unexpected. Before oral arguments, O’Connor shared her four-page note with colleagues. Her action may have ensured she and Kennedy exerted the most effect on the ultimate “per curiam” five-justice majority judgment.
Reports show the 5-4 Bush v. Gore ruling ended county recounts for Florida’s pivotal presidential electors and awarded then-Texas Gov. Bush the win against then-Vice President Gore.
November 7th’s Florida results were too close to call. With other states roughly equally split between the contenders, Florida’s 25 electoral votes would choose the president.
According to a report, on November 26, 2000, Florida officially proclaimed George W. Bush the victor of the state’s 25 electoral votes, despite a narrow margin of only 533 votes between Gore and Bush.
The news spread throughout the country that Al Gore had taken the popular vote by 543,895 votes. True victory, however, requires a majority of electoral votes.
According to a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, Andrew E. Busch, television networks reversed their initial calls for Gore and gave the state to Bush when the vote tally showed a growing advantage for Bush.
The phrase ‘hanging chads’ entered the vernacular amid allegations of fraud and voting suppression, demands for recounts, and filings of suits.