Yesterday Al Gore and George W. Bush had their day in Florida Supreme Court, or at least their lawyers did. Soap operas and talk shows were bumped for national media coverage of the feature-length hearing, and the dramatic potential was high. The question before the court was whether to allow the ongoing manual recounts to be included in Florida’s official vote certification, and the court’s decision may well decide the winner of the Presidency. The seven Florida justices, all but one appointed by Democratic governors, peppered lawyers for both sides with queries about Florida statutes and case law, revealing the tension between a rigid Republican interpretation of election law and an expansive Democratic one.
The essential arguments boil down to two main ones: a deadline is a deadline, and a vote is a vote. The question for the rest of us is, when is enough enough? Interpreting Florida law is this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Einer Elhauge, Harvard Law School
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School