Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election by Howard Gillman, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election

Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election

by Howard Gillman
     
 

The dramatic struggle over the outcome of the 2000 presidential election presented judges with an extraordinary political challenge, as well as a historic political temptation. In The Votes That Counted Howard Gillman offers a comprehensive yet critical assessment of how well courts coped with the competing expectations for impartial justice and favorable

Overview

The dramatic struggle over the outcome of the 2000 presidential election presented judges with an extraordinary political challenge, as well as a historic political temptation. In The Votes That Counted Howard Gillman offers a comprehensive yet critical assessment of how well courts coped with the competing expectations for impartial justice and favorable partisan results.

Lively and authoritative, the book documents how the participants, the press, the academic community, and the public responded during these tension-filled thirty-six days. Gillman also provides a serious yet accessible overview of the legal strategies and debates-from briefs and oral arguments to final decisions. However, in explaining the behavior of courts, he moves beyond an analysis of law to also take into account the influences of partisanship, judicial ideology, and broader political and historical contexts.

Appropriately, Gillman pays special attention to the judges whose behavior generated the most controversy—the battling justices of the Florida and United States Supreme Courts. After carefully reviewing the arguments for and against their decisions, he concludes that the five justices behind the Bush v. Gore decision acted outside what should be considered the acceptable boundaries of judicial power. Gillman ends with an analysis of why they chose such an unprecedented course of action and an assessment of whether their partisan intervention will have any lasting effect on the Supreme Court's reputation and authority.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
University of Southern California political science professor Gillman (The Constitution Besieged) provides a compact examination followed by careful analysis of the major court actions in the contested aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. His analysis gives equal time to expectations of the moment as well as the longer, more stable perspective of the law, with attention to legal briefs, oral arguments, commentary and final decisions. This close attention to texts of all sides minimizes partisan rationalizations and political spin that filled the media at the time. Each chapter covers a different level of the judicial process, from the first 10 days of initial recount efforts, the first Florida Supreme Court case and the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention to Judge N. Sanders Sauls's trial court, the Florida Supreme Court again and the U.S. Supreme Court's stay and final decision. Significant side suits are covered chronologically, most notably those challenging absentee ballot irregularities and federal cases heard by the 11th Circuit C0urt of Appeals. The final chapter employs a clear, consistent framework to assess the integrity of the judges and justices. Gillman shows that the three unanimous decisions against Gore by the Florida Supreme Court followed established precedent and ruled consistently to include all plausible votes; meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court majority's decision emerges from this careful examination as arbitrary, capricious and partisan. Gillman's developmental framework should provide an valuable comparison with more argumentative books. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The idea of the judiciary as an impartial guardian of the law receives substantial criticism in Gillman's analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision, which resolved the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Gillman (political science, Univ. of Southern California), the author of several award-winning books on the U.S. Constitution, such as The Constitution Besieged, carefully explains how both Florida state court judges and federal judges fundamentally shaped the postelection dispute through law and judicial politics. Gillman finds that some forms of judicial politics had the illegitimate influence of partisan favoritism, while others were acceptable, although controversial, forms of judicial authority. Gillman's excellent analysis carefully examines the nature of U.S. judicial institutions within a democratic framework and raises the question whether the Bush v. Gore decision will have lasting effects on the reputation and authority of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida courts. This highly recommended book will help citizens understand key implications of this case and will be a welcome addition to all public and academic libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226294070
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
325
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Howard Gillman is an associate professor of political science at the University of Southern California. He is the author of The Constitution Besieged, winner of the Pritchett Award for best book in public law, and the editor (with Cornell Clayton) of Supreme Court Decision-Making, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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