The Unfinished Election of 2000: Leading Scholars Examine America's Strangest Election

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The Unfinished Election of 2000 gathers an outstanding group of constitutional and political scholars to address key facts of the most recent election and to show how the events of 2000 fit into a larger historical narrative of American politics and law.

Perhaps no other election in U.S. history has left so many disturbing questions about how our political system works—from the very basic mechanics of vote casting to the conclusion, which many ...

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Overview

The Unfinished Election of 2000 gathers an outstanding group of constitutional and political scholars to address key facts of the most recent election and to show how the events of 2000 fit into a larger historical narrative of American politics and law.

Perhaps no other election in U.S. history has left so many disturbing questions about how our political system works—from the very basic mechanics of vote casting to the conclusion, which many believe to have been the result of a politicized U.S. Supreme Court.

The Unfinished Election of 2000 is the first book to attempt a true historical judgment and to give readers a better understanding of the election that confused and infuriated the country.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seven law professors and historians weigh in on the 2000 election in scholarly but lively essays. Pulitzer Prize-winning Stanford historian and political scientist Rakove (Original Meanings) calls it unfinished "not because of its inherent importance, but rather for what it revealed about our politics, institutions, and even the Constitution itself." These essays explore systemic foibles in U.S. politics with an eye toward wider contexts and deeper causes. John Milton Cooper Jr. and Henry Brady both contrast 2000 with the realigning election of 1896, when regional party dominance was reversed. Cooper stresses the normalcy of close elections, while Brady tracks regional flip-flops and analyzes political party coalitions in terms of the moral and economic issues influencing major demographic groups' partisan tilts. Alexander Keycard relates Florida's multiple forms of disenfranchisement to historical patterns, and Larry Kramer explicates the two major cases in both the Florida and the U.S. Supreme courts, concluding that the U.S. Supreme Court's final decision was "an extreme instance of a regular pattern" of conservative judicial activism that distrusts democratic processes. Pamela S. Karlan details the logical and historical development of equal-protection election law, illuminating major anomalies and contortions in Bush v. Gore. Rakove extensively critiques the electoral college, a somewhat accidental creation that, he says, never functioned as intended. Stephen Holmes casts the disenfranchisement of minority voters as an example of "selective defunding of public institutions," and disparages what he views as conservatives' ideological hypocrisy and liberals' romantic association of"judicial review with socially progressive causes." This fine multidisciplinary response could have a lasting impact on how Americans understand the 2000 election. 3 charts. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465068371
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/17/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack N. Rakove is the Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University and lives in Palo Alto, California. Pamela S. Karlan is Montgomery Professor of Public Law at Stanford Law School and lives in Palo Alto. Larry Kramer is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and lives in New York City. Alex Keyssar is Matthew G. Stirling, Jr., Professor of History and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Stephen Holmes is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and lives in New York City. Henry Brady is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Oakland, California. John Cooper is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Dangling Questions
Pt. 1 The Politics of a Presidential Election
1 "The Leaving It": The Election of 2000 at the Bar of History 3
2 Trust the People: Political Party Coalitions and the 2000 Election 39
3 The Right to Vote and Election 2000 75
Pt. 2 The Court and the Constitution
4 The Supreme Court in Politics 105
5 Equal Protection: Bush v. Gore and the Making of a Precedent 159
6 The E-College in the E-Age 201
Afterword: Can a Coin-Toss Election Trigger a Constitutional Earthquake? 235
Index 253
About the Contributors 265
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2002

    Very Academic

    This is an interesting contribution to what is a growing library of election 2000 books. It lacks the energizing vitriol of Vincent Bugliosi's and Alan Dershowitz's additions to the genre, but at times this is helpful, as the explainations given in this book, especially Larry Kramer's contribution, seem a lot more grounded in fact, analysis, and rationality (not that Bugliosi or Dershowitz were lacking in fact or rationality, but certain key points of their arguements go unelaborated.) However much of the book is devoted to contributions which, while interesting, have only a fringe relation to the 'juicy' parts of the last election. There are articles on voter analysis, the history of the 'right to vote' in America, which apparently doesn't exist, and an entire article on the Electoral College. To some extent it really seems like a book that could have been written abou ANY election; the uniquely bizzarre nature of the 2000 election merely added a couple of additional articles. I, to some extent, accept Jeffrey Toobin's theory (presented in his own election 2000 book) that the 2000 election was won in the gutter by Bush because he and his advisors were determined to win at any cost, and Gore was too worried about how he'd be perceived (as shown by his failure to attempt to reject the overseas military ballots). Since that is hardly a subject for an academic article, the book as a whole doesn't seem to tell the real story about what went on. Nonetheless, each article is fascinating in its own way to anyone interested in politics and american history and all articles written about the election contain airtight arguements with just enough editorialization from the authors to leave the reader more sure than ever that their guy wuz robbed.

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