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December 05, 2000 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-05

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ELECTION2000

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 5. 2000 -- 5

COURT
Continued from Page 1
Bader-Ginsburg hinted at the possibility for the
Court to remand the case to Florida's high court
during oral arguments Friday.
"I suppose there would be a possibility for
this Court to remand for clarification," she told
Gore lawyer Lawrence Tribe.
The issue the Court was considering was
whether the Florida Supreme should have
extended the date for vote certification, which in
effect allowed manual recounts to be included in
the final vote tabulation. Bush's lead over Vice
President Al Gore in Florida shrank from 930 to
537 once the manual counts were included.
This decision comes only three days after the
nation's highest court heard oral arguments in
the case - _.unusually speedy action from an
institution not known for its haste.
Perhaps even more peculiar was the manner
in which the Court released the opinion. Instead
of announcing it in the courtroom and then
passing out copies as is usually the case, the
justices made no announcement and Court offi-
cials handed out the opinion during oral argu-
ments for another case yesterday morning.
As soon as copies of the opinion were distrib-
uted, members of the media attending the morn-
ing's oral arguments bolted from the courtroom
to make sense of what they had just been hand-
ed.°
The spin began almost directly after the Court
ruled. Reactions were predictably partisan.
"I'm not surprised by the decision in the
Supreme Court given (Justice) Scalia's ques-
tioning in the Court as to the basis for the Flori-

da Supreme Court's decision " Sen. Carl Levin
(D-Mich.) said. Justice Antonin Scalia, known
for his staunchly conservative views, is a
favorite target of liberals.
Levin said he felt the decision was anything
but a defeat for Vice President Al Gore.
"As a matter of fact, it implies that Scalia
would support a dismissal of the Bush appeal if
the basis of the Supreme Court of Florida's
decision was that they are construing or inter-
preting the Florida statutes," Levin said. If the
Florida Supreme Court clarified their decision
in this manner, "It would mean a Gore victory
in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republican Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma
called on Gore to concede in light of the High
Court's opinion.
"Today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court,
in favor of Texas Governor George W. Bush is a
victory for the United States and the American
people" Watts said in a press release on behalf
of the House Republican Conference. °y
"This ruling supports the common sense idea
that a disputed election must be decided by laws-
set forth before Election Day, not by changes
proposed afterwards as Vice President Gore so
desperately wished," he added.r
Dinh said that after reading the opinion, he felt
the Bush campaign had the most to celebrate.:
"I think it is a three-quarters victory for the Bush
campaign and half of that is because the Court has
recognized this is a federal cases Dinh said.
"I guess Al (bore can take some comfort in
the fact that the Court did not issue an opinion
that states categoricaly that the Bush argument
was correct ... but I'm not sure that is much of Reporters gather on the steps of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee in
a comfort," he added. anticipation of the courts announcement yesterday.

Fla. legislature
ready to act, if
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The speaker of the
Florida House is hinting the courts may make it
unnecessary for the the Republican-controlled Lecis-
lature to intervene in the disputed presidential elec-
tion.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Tom Feeney
says, "If there's no need for us, we're not going to
step in.'
She says, however, Feeney believes "there's still
enough uncertainty" to warrant a special session.
Lawmakers would likely choose electors for George
W. Bush.
Feeney has been a strong advocate of an immediate
session to assure that Floridas six million votes count
when the Electoral College selects a president on
Dec. 18. The deadline for naming the slate of elec-
tors is Dec. 12.
The House speaker's hope for a quick session were
dashed when Senate President John McKay decided
to take several days to think about it.
Both leaders must agree in order to call the session.
Thie Republican-controlled legislature had poised
itself to hold a special session tomorrow to try to
enforce George W. Bush's certified victory in Florida
by naming the state's 25 electors, the h ouse majority
leader said.

ELECTION
Continued from Page 1
cession, Card said in an interview.
Still, "I don't expect any
announcements this week, at least
Cabinet announcements," he added.
"The Supreme Court ruling legit-
imizes many of our concerns. It did
point out or justify some of the
angst we had expressed about the
Florida Supreme Court ruling,"
Card said.
Just three days after hearing his-
toric arguments, the U.S. Supreme
Court invited Florida's top court to
clarify its reasons for extending the
deadline for hand-counted ballots
in some Democratic counties. A
spokesman for the state high court
said the justices would reply to the
order.
"This is sufficient reason for us
to decline at this time to review the
federal questions asserted to be
present" in the contested election,
the court said in its unsigned, unan-
ittous opinion. "The judgment of
the Supreme Court of Florida is
therefore vacated "
Florida's styen justices, all of
whom were appointed by Democra-
tic goxernois, had ordered Secre-
tary of State Katherine Harris to
accept recount totals for several
days after the state's Nov. 14 dead-
line. Bush appealed. but the
Supreme Court did not rule on the
merits of his filine.
By passing the case back to
Florida, the nation's highest court
leaves in doubt gains made by (jore
through manual recounts after Nov.
*14. Those totals trimmed Bush's
lead from 930 votes to 537 out of
six million cast.
In Florida, the state's House
speaker, a Republican, prepared to
approve a special session to choose
presidential electors - presumably
supporters of Bush. But the effort
was moving slow ly and lawmakers
still needed the consent of the cau-
tious Senate president, Republican
John McKay
Bush's political operatives have
signaled to McKay that they
approve of his go-slow approach,
4fearing backlash from voters under
an intense public relations cam-
paign by Democrats.
* Bush himself urged caution,
elling reporters who asked about
the legislative fight: "We ought to
take this process one day at a time."
A Washington Post-ABC News
survey suggested that 56 percent of
SAmericans want the Legislature to
:avoid the unsettled presidential
election. Equal numbers want Con-
Oress to butt out, though the U.S.
Constitution gives state and federal
lawmakers a role in the Electoral
College process.
'(ore's team was organizing a
campaign to discredit the Legisla-
ture said the state's Republican
governor, Bush brother Jeb Bush.
Gore himself was briefed Sunday
by his legal team about potential
legal options to counter the Florida
Legislature. (ore's lawyers argT~ue
that the U.S. Constitution gives leg-
islatures the power to select clec-
rs but Congress sets the date for
them to be picked. That date, they
argue, was the Nov. 7 election; the
Florida legislature established the
rules for that election and now has
no furtheir input on the selection of
electors, Gore lawyers say.
Officials familiar with the meet-

9th Circuit upholds U

Washington admissions

R UNG
Continued from Page 1
paid at the University of Washington, he said.
Monday's ruling cited the U.S. Supreme
Court's 1978 Bakke v. University of California
decision, in which the higuh court struck down the
use of racial quotas in school admissions but
allowed schools to consider race in deciding
which students to accept.
The ruling puts the 9th Circuit in direct con-

Ilict with the 5th Circuit court, which includes
Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
In 1996, a three-judge panel of that court
ruled in favor of four white students who
sued the University of Texas, saying its law
school did not admit them because of their
r'ace.
The ruling led to an injunction banning univei-
sities from usimg race as a factor in admission
policies.
"We are well aware of the fact that much

has happened since Bakke was handed
down," said Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez,
writing for the three-judge panel of the 9th
Circuit.
"Since that time, the court has not looked
upon race-based factors with much favor.
Still, it has not returned to the area of univer-
sity admissions," Fernandez said.
Rosman said his clients haven't decided
whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
They say that while the university's admis-

sions policy may have been constitutional, it
also may have been applied incorrectly.
But David J. Burman, the university's
lawyer, said the students do not have much of
a case.
"We're optimistic that, at some point, they'll
choose to drop it," he said.
A message was not immediately returned
from the assistant attorney general's office in
Seattle representing the University of' Wash-
ington.

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