Understanding the 2000 Election: A Guide to the Legal Battles that Decided the Presidency

Overview

Paperback Edition: Updated and with a New Foreword

The nation will not soon forget the drama of the 2000 presidential election. For five weeks we were transfixed by the legal clashes that enveloped the country from election night to the Gore concession. It was instant history, and will be studied by historians, lawyers, political scientists, media critics and others for years to come.

Even for those who followed the events most closely, the ...

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Understanding the 2000 Election: A Guide to the Legal Battles that Decided the Presidency

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Overview

Paperback Edition: Updated and with a New Foreword

The nation will not soon forget the drama of the 2000 presidential election. For five weeks we were transfixed by the legal clashes that enveloped the country from election night to the Gore concession. It was instant history, and will be studied by historians, lawyers, political scientists, media critics and others for years to come.

Even for those who followed the events most closely, the legal twists and turns of the post-election struggles seemed at times bewildering. We witnessed manual recounts of election ballots, GOP federal court lawsuits challenging those recounts, two Florida Supreme Court opinions, lawsuits over butterfly and absentee ballots, questions about the role of the Florida legislature and the United States Congress in resolving presidential election disputes, and two United States Supreme Court decisions, the second of which finally handed the election to Bush. Although the 2000 Presidency was decided through much legal wrangling, one should not have to be a lawyer to understand how we came to have Bush rather than Gore as our President in that hotly contested election.

Understanding the 2000 Election offers an accessible, comprehensive guide to the legal battles that finally gave George W. Bush the Presidency five weeks after election night. Meant to stand next to and clarify the numerous journalistic and personal accounts of the election drama, Understanding the 2000 Election offers a offers a step-by-step, non-partisan explanation and analysis of the major legal issues involved in resolving the presidential contest. The volume also offers a clear overview of the Electoral College, its history, what would be involved in switching over to a direct election, and the likely future of the Presidential electoral process. While some still decry the 2000 election outcome as the result of political manipulation rather than the rule of law, Greene shows that almost every legal conclusion of the post-election struggle can be understood through the application of legal principle, rather than politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Superbly organized, with clarity and concision, Greene's book offers a highly readable, nonpartisan guidebook for those who don't speak legalese.”
-The National Journal

,

“The 2000 presidential election will be remembered as one of the most astonishing political, legal and constitutional events in American history. In Understanding the 2000 Election, Abner Greene traces each step in this extraordinary story with clarity and insight. With a careful eye for detail, and a generous perspective that highlights his sense of the good faith of each of the conflicting participants, Greene offers what will inevitably be a controversial understanding of these events that reveals the 2000 presidential election as a triumph of law and civility over brute politics and unprincipled power.”
-Geoffrey R. Stone,Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished ServiceProfessor of Law, The University of Chicago

“Abner Greene is not only an outstanding legal analyst but a gifted storyteller. He has given us an extraordinarily thoughtful, illuminating and (happily) highly readable account of the various legal battles fought in the five weeks after the 2000 Election. The author promises to break down the complexity of the legal issues so lawyers and nonlawyers alike can follow along—and he succeeds brilliantly.”
-Yale Kamisar,Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor of Law, University of Michigan

“When future historians chronicle the battle of Bush v. Gore, they'll turn to Understanding the 2000 Election. Greene provides a clear, sophisticated, and accessible guide through the thicket of law and politics that surrounded the most surreal Presidential election of modern times.”
-George Stephanopoulos

,

“Superbly organized, with clarity and concision, Greene’s book offers a highly readable, nonpartisan guidebook for those who don't speak legalese.”
-The National Journal

,

Library Journal
"Perfectly suited to the needs of the college research student or the lay reader wanting a better understanding of the 2000 presidential election"
National Journal
Superbly organized, with clarity and concision, Greene's book offers a highly readable, nonpartisan guidebook for those who don't speak legalese.
Library Journal
Last year, American voters were busy deciding which presidential candidate would win the election based on the issues, but the reality of the election became a legally complicated decision. A professor at Fordham University School of Law and a legal analyst for various media outlets, Greene has written a comprehensive book addressing the specific details of the 2000 presidential election. He focuses on the steps of the election process and how the U.S. Supreme Court decided on the final results. The book takes the reader through the manual recounts in various states, the issues regarding the butterfly ballots in Palm Beach County, the electoral college system, disputes surrounding absentee ballots, the initial decisions made by the Florida Supreme Court, and, finally, the result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on December 12, 2000. Although many accounts are available, this work is perfectly suited to the needs of the college research student or the lay reader wanting a better understanding of the 2000 presidential election and would be a valuable addition to larger public libraries and undergraduate library collections. Monica Maldonado Doman, Cypress Coll. Lib., CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814731482
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Abner Greene is a Professor at the Fordham University School of Law, specializing in constitutional law. He made more than 80 media appearances in a wide array of television, radio, and newspaper venues during the resolution of the 2000 election. He became the ABC News Radio regular legal analyst, appeared on ABC World News Tonight, CNN, NPR, Talk of the Nation, and C-Span and was quoted several times in the New York Times. Greene clerked for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in the 1987 and 1988 terms.

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Table of Contents

1 Winning the presidency : the electoral vote 15
2 Manual recounts : in Florida, and across the nation 29
3 Protesting the election : what sort of deadline was November 14? 43
4 Contesting the election : what does the law mean by "rejection of legal votes"? 56
5 Challenging hand counts in federal court : the seed is planted 70
6 The "Safe-Harbor" Provision and Article II of the Constitution : did the Florida Supreme Court rewrite Florida law? 85
7 Article II of the U.S. Constitution : did the Florida Supreme Court improperly rely on the Florida Constitution? 94
8 The U.S. Supreme Court asks for clarification : the Florida Supreme Court responds 100
9 The U.S. Supreme Court ends the election : the unconstitutionality of Florida's hand counts and the ultimate significance of December 12 111
10 The "butterfly ballot": Palm Beach County and 3,407 Buchanan votes 137
11 Absentee ballots : Seminole and Martin Counties and a printer's error 151
12 The Florida Legislature : what was its proper role? 163
13 The U.S. Congress : the unused court of last resort 168
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