September 17, 2003


The Vote Must Go On (BRUCE ACKERMAN, September 17, 2003, NY Times)

The federal appeals court order delaying the recall election in California cites the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore more than a dozen times. It is undeniable that California's recall election, which will use punch-card voting systems, has the potential to become another voting fiasco replete with hanging chads and changing standards. But this is not nearly enough to make it a legal rerun of Bush v. Gore.

For starters, in 2000 the Supreme Court intervened only after the election. [...]

Worse yet, the decision disrupts the First Amendment interests of the millions of Californians who have participated in the recall effort. State law promised them a quick election if they completed their petitions by an August deadline. [...]

The decision departs from Bush v. Gore in a second way. When the Supreme Court stopped the recount, Florida's time was running out. Continuing the recount increased the risk that its electoral vote would be challenged in Washington when Congress counted all the electoral ballots. Whatever its other merits or demerits, the court's intervention protected the right of each state to make its voice heard in selecting the president.

In contrast, the present decision attacks states' rights at their very core.

The aforementioned Mr. Ackerman.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 17, 2003 9:26 AM
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