In summary, the Florida court`s interpretations do not raise any substantive issue under Article II. This court limited itself to an admissible interpretation to conclude that Gore had initiated a contest authorized by state law and ordered the trial court to act in the exercise of the Fla. Stat. Ann. § 102.168 (8) (Supp. 2001) to refer this competition to such orders as it considers necessary to ensure that any allegation contained in the complaint is investigated, an examination or examination, to prevent or correct alleged wrongdoing and to provide adequate redress in those circumstances.” As Justice GINSBURG argued persuasively in his own dissent, our usual respect for state law interpretations by states discourages the dismissal of the Florida court`s decisions in this case. Until recently, the influence of Bush v. Gore on federal elections was quite weak, gradually adapting to new election administration issues on a case-by-case basis. He now seems to be on the verge of a metamorphosis. In recent years, Bush v. Gore — or, more accurately, a side note, an argument that is undeniably unprecedented — has begun to gain traction among conservative jurists and election lawyers.
Last week, four members of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court became advocates for the cause, trying to turn a long-marginal idea into the law of the land. If a majority of the Supreme Court adopts this idea, the court`s new right-wing supermajority will have almost complete power over the court`s efforts to shape federal elections — a set of circumstances that election experts and election lawyers say could seriously hamper efforts to expand election law in the United States. As recently as last semester, in Fiore v. Weiss, 528 U. S. 23 (1999), we used the Pennsylvania certification process. In that case, a state prisoner filed a federal habeas suit, claiming that the state had failed to prove an essential element of the crime with which he was charged in violation of the due process clause. Id., pp.
25-26. Instead of clarifying the constitutional question on which the federal claim depended, we upheld the question to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to “assist in determining the correct constitutional predicate for our determination of the federal constitutional issues raised.” Id., p. 29; id., p. 28 (asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court whether its recent interpretation of the law under which Fiore was convicted “was always the meaning of the law, even at the time of Fiore`s trial”). The Supreme Court`s willingness to reverse the Florida Supreme Court`s interpretation of Florida law in this case is at least in tension with our reluctance in Fiore to even interpret Pennsylvania law before seeking directions from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. I would have thought that the “cautious approach” we recommend when federal courts deal with state law issues, Arizonans, 520 U.S., at 77, and our commitment to “building cooperative judicial federalism,” Lehman Brothers, $416, at p. 391, require greater deference. State (Secretary), Fla. Stat.
Ann. § 97.012(1) (Supp. 2001), and in the State District Courts, §§ 102.168(1), 102.168(8). The various sections of the Code may well allow for more than one interpretation, but the overall coherence of the legislative system must not be altered by judicial interpretation in order to completely alter the statutory division of responsibilities between these different bodies. In any election other than a presidential election, the Florida Supreme Court may show Florida leaders as little or as much respect as it wishes, with respect to Article II, and that court will have no reason to question the court`s actions. However, with respect to a presidential election, the court must take into account both the role of the legislature under article II in choosing the method of selecting voters and respect the bodies expressly empowered by the legislature to fulfil its constitutional mandate. However, in order to qualify the first element as “distortion”, it is necessary to consider how the State Court resolved a manifest conflict in the wording of various laws. Compare Fla. Stat. Ann.
§ 102.166 (Supp. 2001) (provides for manual recounts during the protest period) with section 102.111 (setting a time limit that is probably too short to conduct manual recounts); See § 102.112(1) (which states that the secretary “may” ignore late declarations) with section 102.111(1) (which states that the secretary “shall” ignore late declarations). In any case, this issue no longer has a court. Notwithstanding our power to decide state law issues underlying federal claims, we have used the certification scheme to allow state high courts to hear us on matters of their own state law, as such deference “contributes to the establishment of cooperative judicial federalism.” Lehman Brothers, 416 U.S., at 391. The extraordinary framework of this case has obscured the ordinary principle that prescribes its correct solution: federal courts abandon themselves to the interpretation of the state`s own law by a state high court. This principle reflects the core of federalism on which everyone agrees. “The Framers have divided the atom of sovereignty. It was the genius of their idea that our citizens would have two political capacities, one state and the other federal, each protected from the intrusion of the other. Saenz v.
Roe, 526 U. S. 489, 504, n. 17 (1999) (citing U. S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U. S. 779, 838 (1995) (KENNEDY, J., agree)).
The Chief Justice`s concern for the Florida legislature is at the expense of the more basic care we owe to the sovereign of the legislature. U.S. Const., art. II, § 1, cl. 2 (“Each state appoints the electors of the President and Vice President (emphasis added); ante, pp. 123-124 (STEVENS, J., different).3 Were the other members of this court as attentive as they were generally to our dual system? On December 8, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court ordered, among other things, that manual recounts of ballots for the recent presidential election be required in all Florida counties where so-called “subvotes” had not been recorded manually, and that manual recounts should begin immediately. Referring to the proximity of the election, the Court stated that, according to the minutes preceding it, there could be no question of uncounted “legal votes” – that is, those for which there was a clear indication of the voter`s intention – sufficient to call into question the results of the election. The petitioners, the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates who had been certified winners in Florida, filed an urgent motion to suspend this term. On December 9, the court granted the stay request, treated it as a request for certiorari and granted certiorari. Rehnquist`s reasoning was based on a narrow interpretation of the presidential electors clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “each state shall appoint the electors who shall vote for the president and vice president in such manner as the legislature may ordain.” According to the Chief Justice, the Constitution has given state legislatures exclusive power to hold presidential elections, and when, as in Florida in 2000, a state court (or governor) has interfered with election laws passed by the legislature, it encounters conflict with the United States. Constitution, meaning that the Federal Supreme Court can intervene to maintain the power of the state legislature over how the state conducts its presidential elections.
After weeks of litigation and recounts, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Gore`s plea for a selective recount. Bush then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On December 12, the Supreme Court ruled in Bush v. Gore. By a 7-2 vote, they concluded that Florida`s inconsistent recount process violated the 14th equality protection clause. Amendment to the Constitution. More importantly, the court ruled in a 5-4 ruling that there was no fair way to recount Florida`s votes in time for the state`s votes to be counted in the Electoral College. The result of the elections would stand. With only a few hundred votes, Bush had won Florida and thus the presidency.