A Lookback at Bush v. Gore

You may have heard about the Bush v. Gore case recently following a contested election between Joe Biden and President Trump amid claims of rampant voter fraud.


But you may not know what actually happened in the case between George W. Bush and Al Gore in year 2000 where the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Bush.


In light of an undetermined election, it's important to take a look back at history when America was in a very similar situation. So here is an exact timeline and description of what occurred in the historic case.


Timeline:


November 7th, 2000 – Election Day

All Mainstream Media outlets projected Democrat Al Gore won the presidency until George W. Bush gained lead in Florida overnight. The MSM retracted Gore projection and instead called it for Bush.


November 8th, 2000 – Ballots for Gore closed Bush’s 100,000 vote lead. The networks retracted Bush call and an automatic machine recount began in Florida.


November 10th, 2000 – Although the machine recount finished with Bush lead down to just 327 votes, Gore was granted manual recounts in blue counties including Palm Beach, Volusia, Miami-Dade, and Broward.


November 14th, 2000 – Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, said she would certify the state’s election results on November 18th after absentee ballots came in, excluding manual recount results from the blue counties as they missed her recount deadline.


November 17th, 2000 – Gore appeals to Florida Supreme Court who ordered Harris to postpone certification as the counties in question were still manually recounting.


November 21st, 2000 – Florida Supreme Court allowed the manual recounts to continue, delaying election results for 5 more days.


November 26th, 2000 – The state canvassing board voted to certify Bush as the winner of Florida’s electoral vote.


November 27th, 2000 – Gore formally contested the results in court.


December 8th, 2000 – Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide recount.


December 9th, 2000 – Bush appealed the U.S. Supreme Court who decided 5-4 to stay halt the manual recount.


December 11th, 2000 – SCOTUS heard oral arguments in Bush v. Gore. Bush’s team stating the Florida Supreme Court exceeded its authority by authorizing recount of undervotes. Gore’s team stating the case was already decided by the state and should not be up for consideration at the federal level.


December 12th, 2000 – With a 7-2 vote, SCOTUS overturned the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to recount, ruling that different methods and standards of the recount process were unconstitutional under equal protection grounds.


The court decided 5-4 with the majority holding that the Florida Supreme Court’s decision would be new election law which only the state legislature can do, furthermore, no recount could be held in time by the “safe harbor” deadline (under 3 USC Section 5) which, in year 2000, was December 12th.


What It Means:


This timeline is significant to take into account as we await the results of the contested election between Biden and President Trump, especially as recounts ensue in Wisconsin and Georgia while lawsuits plague Pennsylvania and Nevada.


While the mainstream media is projecting a Biden win, and many people are forecasting that it could be months of litigation before we know the results, there are specific deadlines put forth by U.S. Code regarding contested elections.


"The U.S. Code (3 U.S.C. §5) provides that if election results are contested in any state, and if the state, prior to election day, has enacted procedures to settle controversies or contests over electors and electoral votes, and if these procedures have been applied, and the results have been determined six days before the electors’ meetings, then these results are considered to be conclusive, and will apply in the counting of the electoral votes. This date, known as the “Safe Harbor” deadline, falls on December 8 in 2020," CRS Reports reads.


https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11641


More than likely, the election will be settled within 30 days from now based on precedence. While in 2020, anything is possible, we can take hope that the law will prevail in this contested election and will air on the side of justice.

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