Florida Supreme Court Case Study

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Also, they ordered that every county in Florida begin manually recounting all ballots that did not indicate a vote for president due to the fact there were enough contested ballots to significantly impact the outcome of the election. Governor George Bush and his running mate, Richard Cheney, in retaliation, filed a request for review to the Supreme Court. They sought an emergency petition to counter the Florida Supreme Court’s decision. The Court granted the writ of certiorari to determine whether the recount procedures adopted by the lower court were consistent with its obligation to avoid arbitrary and disparate treatment of the members of its electorate.
The Supreme Court heard this case of December 9, 2000 and focused on two main issues. The questions were: 1. Did the Florida Supreme Court violate Article II Section 1 Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution by
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Al, argued that new standards established for resolving Presidential election contests were a direct violation of the U.S. Const. Art. II, § 1, cl. 2. Essentially they assert that Article II provides no basis to override the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to establish new standards that conflict with legislative enactments. Subsequently they contend that because Florida did not have a statewide vote recount standard and counties were using different standards to decide which votes would count, Florida was not treating all its citizens equally under the law thus violating the Equal Protection Clause. This was problematic in that two voters could have marked their ballot in the same manner but in one county it would be deemed acceptable and in another it would be rejected. It is critical to note that "The Equal Protection Clause prohibits government officials from implementing an electoral system that gives the votes of similarly situated voters different effect based on the happenstance of the county or district in which those voters live." Bush v. Gore, 531 U. S. 98, 104

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