What to think of the Florida Supreme Court? The court ruled
unanimously that manual recounts in pro-Gore Democratic counties shall
continue.

Let’s see. The Florida Supreme Court consists of how many Democrats?
Six, and one “independent” (appointed by a Democratic governor). And,
remember these justices must stand for retention by voters to keep their
jobs.

Where are the cries of partisanship? Where are the groans that, after
all, a court stacked full of Democrats appears hostile to the Republican
Party?

But, no. The Los Angeles Times ran an article about a fair,
impartial, and independent Florida Supreme Court. Former Supreme Court
Justice Alan Sundberg, a Tallahassee lawyer, said, “I would reject out
of hand any suggestion that the Florida Supreme Court is either
Democrat-oriented or Republican-oriented. I am satisfied to a moral
certainty that their party affiliations will not have any effect on the
ruling of these cases.”

And Randall Berg, executive director of the Florida Justice
Institute, a Miami public interest civil rights law firm, stated, “I
think it’s a very strong court and a very courageous court. They will
not kowtow to doing the politically correct thing.”

And, how about this one from Nova Southeastern University professor
Bruce Rogow, “It’s kind of a populist court, but very independent and
often times surprising.” Populist? Hmm, didn’t a national news magazine
once call George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate,
the “Prairie Populist”?

Democrats excel at maligning Republicans for “partisanship.” This
summer, President Bill Clinton complained about the dearth of diversity
on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. “The 4th Circuit,” said Clinton,
“has the largest African-American population of any circuit in this
country, yet it has never had an African-American appellate judge. It’s
long past time to right that wrong.”

Why, Rev. Jesse Jackson likened conservative justices to Ku Klux Klan
arsonists: “At night, the enemies of civil rights strike in white
sheets, burning churches. By day, they strike in black robes.”

But a Florida Supreme Court stacked full of Democrats — “independent
and often times surprising.”

Funny, during one of the election debates, Gore said, “And Governor
Bush has declared to the anti-choice groups that he will appoint
justices in the mold of (Antonin) Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are
known for being the most vigorous opponents of a woman’s right to
choose.” So, when Republicans get into office, expect them to “stack”
courts full of bad-guy ideologues. But when Democrats appoint judges,
expect only, well, just judges. Remember Al Gore’s remarks to a black
church on the eve of this election, “Deep within us, we each have the
capacity for good and for evil. I am taught that good overcomes evil, if
we chose that outcome. I feel it coming.” Evil Republicans appoint evil
Republican judges, whereas Democrats appoint good Democratic judges.

The first Rodney King trial, held in Simi Valley, Calif., before a
predominantly white jury, resulted in mostly acquittal verdicts for the
police officer defendants. Bad. Obviously guilty, double-murderer O.J.
Simpson receives an acquittal verdict from a predominantly black Los
Angeles jury. Good. O.J. Simpson was found unanimously liable before a
largely non-white jury, in Santa Monica. Bad. The Bush team faced a
no-Republican Florida Supreme Court. Good.

Remember that the Florida Supreme Court rendered a unanimous
decision. Unanimous? Wouldn’t you think that one, just one, guy would
raise a hand and say, “Gee, fellas, we’re all Democrats here, but does
this pass the smell test? Do you think the American people will accept a
president who tactically cherry-picked Democratic counties to produce
the desired result?”

Wouldn’t you think just one person might argue the following: The
machines did their jobs, and refused to count improperly marked ballots.
Voters received instructions to ask questions if confused, and to remove
any “hanging chips” from the ballot. If you don’t follow the rules, your
vote doesn’t count.

Many Americans are hot. They find Al “All Votes Must Count” Gore’s
gambit slick, shady, and unfair. Not only do “recounters” attempt to
discern voter intent, but the standards — hanging chad, pregnant chad,
dimpled chad — keep changing. Gore may not gain enough votes without
loosening the standard for voter intent. A simple indentation, the
pro-Gore camp argues, indicates a voter’s “intent” to vote for that
candidate. Why, then, did the voter successfully push holes in the rest
of the ballot, leaving an indentation only for the presidential spot?
Maybe the voter simply changed his or her mind.

Now that the Florida Supreme Court allowed manual recounts to
continue, the action turns to the federal courts, possibly the Florida
state legislature, and perhaps ultimately to the United States Supreme
Court. Bush opponents now cry, “Lose gracefully.”

No. Fighting on is absolutely the right thing to do — tactically and
morally.

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