Monday, November 29, 2010

Retiring Justice Stevens disagrees with Court on Gore v. Bush, 2000

History was made last evening, again, on the CBS program, 60 Minutes.
The guest was retiring Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, from Chicago. The son of a Chicago hotelier, who lost his income and his reputation, only to have it restored by a judge in a courtroom. Stevens, a card-carrying Republican, became one of the more moderate, even liberal voices on the bench in his thirty-five years of service.
It was, however, his strong opposition to the decision of the court in Gore v. Bush, in 2000 that stood out in my mind. He recalled meeting one of his colleagues on the bench, at a social gathering, and one of them making the comment, on the evening prior to the case coming to the court, that we will likely see that case tomorrow. And both agreed that it would not take very long, because there would be no merit to the request for a "stay" in the recount, since there were clearly no serious issues that could emergy from such a recount.
However, the court decided to stop the Florida recount, accepting the argument made on behalf of the Bush camp, and that "stay" resulted in George W. Bush's becoming the 43rd President of the United States.
Stevens maintains today, a decade later, that there would have no emergency had the recount continued in Florida.
And the rest of the world would clearly have been spared one of, if not the worst, presidential regime in the country's history. Try to imagine, dear reader, for one moment, the first eight years of this century with a President Al Gore. We would already have take giant strides toward fighting global warming, instead of being stuck in the molasses of doubt even of the scientific evidence that there is such a phenomenon. We would not have entered the war in Iraq, and likely not prosecuted the war in Afghanistan as it transpired. We would not be fighting about Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, and the income distribution skewing in favour of the rich could conceivably have been nudged back into some equilibrium.....and the mind dances with the fantasy.

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