15 July 2001

The Betrayal of America

Vincent Bugliosi, former LA County prosecutor whose most famous trial was the Charles Manson case, has made the prosecutorial case here that the Supreme Court underminded the Constitution and chose our president. The "Supremos" committed the unpardonable sin of being a knowing surrogate for the Republican Party instead of being an impartial arbiter of the law. They stole an election from the people and delivered it as the spoils of power to the new king, thereby violating the laws the Justices swore to uphold and thereby reducing themselves to common thugs.

Bugliosi is not your knee-jerk, anti-government, anti-establishment citizen. His chances of being named Sweetheart of the Year by the ACLU are damn slim. So, when he calls the decision a "judicial coup d'etat", it's worth notice.

  • Under Supreme Court rules, a stay is supposed to be granted to an applicant only if he makes a substantial showing that in the absence of a stay, there is likelihood of "irreparable harm" to him. Scalia had presupposed that Bush had already won the election, when the election had yet been decided. Scalia stated that "Bush has a substantial probability of success" - but neither side had even submitted briefs yet.
  • Unsigned and anonymously written "per curiam" opinions, as was done for Bush v. Gore are usually reserved for unaminous (9-0) opinions in relatively unimportant and uncontroversial cases. Neither was the case here.
  • More proof that equal protection argument had no merit - the Supreme Court denied review on November 24, refuting Bush's equal protection clause argument, but then contradicted themselves on December 12.
  • December 12 was not a hard deadline. 1960 Hawaii contradicts this "Supremo" opinion. A recount could have gone on right up to the last day of Congress "joint session" on January 6.
  • Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist are ardent supports of states' rights. They completely departed from what they would have done in 99 of 100 other cases.
  • Total lack of legal stature they reposed in their decision. The court cited four of its previous cases as legal precedent. But not one of them bears the slightest resemblence to Bush v. Gore.
    • Gray v. Sanders - Georgia had a system where the vote of each citizen counted for less and less as the population of his/her county increased.
    • Moore v. Ogilve - Illinois residents of smaller counties were able to form a new party to elect candidates, something residents of larger counties could not do.
    • Reynolds v. Sims - an apportionment case
    • Harper v. Virginia - involved the payment of a poll tax as a qualification for voting.
  • Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar stated the five Justices "failed to cite a single case that, on its facts, comes close to supporting its analysis and result".
  • Vanderbilt professor Suzanna Sherry said "There is very little way to reconcile this opinion other than they really wanted Bush to win."
  • 500 law professors from around the country took out a full page ad in the NY Times denouncing the stay order. No corresponding stance has been taken by conservative law professors supporting the stay order.
  • It is difficult to find even conservative legal scholars who supported the decision - Berkeley law professor John Yoo, former law clerk for Thomas, wrote that "we should balance the short-term hit to the court's legitimacy with whether it was in the best interest of the country to end the electoral crisis". In another words, if the election is close, it's better for the Supreme Court to pick the President, whether or not he won the election, than to have the dispute resolved in the manner prescribed by law.


This theft of the 2000 presidential election, aided and abetted by the Supreme Court is one of the crimes of the century because it made all the subsequent crimes of the illegitimate Bush Administration possible, from the insane Bush tax cuts to the unjustified and illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the blatant and total disregard of the environment and the fate of the earth. This partisan, criminal act by the "Supreme" Court may well be responsible for the end of the world. All federal employees should be required by law to retire at 55, especially Supreme Court Justices. The five Supreme Court justices who stuck us with four years of one of the most rotten, corrupt, dangerous and right wing administrations in the history of America should be held accountable for their crimes and sent to jail where they belong. Perhaps, from now on, Supreme Court justices should be elected by the people rather than appointed by the corrupt few.
If Florida's 67 counties had gone ahead with the hand recount of disputed ballots the Florida Supreme Court ordered Dec. 8, using the standards that election officials said they would have used, Bush would have won by 493 votes. Such a recount began the next day, but was stopped that afternoon when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a recount using a variety of standards threatened "irreparable harm" to Bush.

Bush would have won even if the U.S. Supreme Court had not stepped in.

There was no reason to count the clearly invalid votes of elderly Democrats in Palm Beach County who claimed after the election that, despite having been given sample ballots before the election, they were so confused by the Democrat-designed "butterfly ballot" that they might have voted for more than one candidate.

Where Gore had the greatest opportunity to pick up votes was not in those undervote ballots his forces focused on, but in the approximately 114,000 (illegal) overvote ballots, particularly 25,000 overvote ballots read by optical scanning machines. Overvote ballots were those having votes for more than one presidential candidate a no-no in any state for any election.

So do we the people really elect the president and vice president? Technically, we don't. Presidents are elected by the states and the District of Columbia, not by a national tally of voters. When you vote, you cast your ballot for electors who will vote for a candidate they are politically aligned with.

Most of the time, that means the candidate who wins the popular vote also wins the Electoral College vote.

There are 538 Electoral College voters, one per senator and representative from each state. The District of Columbia, which has no congressional representation, has three votes - the minimum.

The colleges of electors from each state meet on the same date and vote for a president and vice president. There is no central location that the voters meet - in this case, college refers to a body of electors, not a building. Most of the 51 slates of electors meet at their respective state capitols.

Generally speaking, a candidate who has the most popular votes in a state also receives all of its electoral votes. Two states, however, can split their electoral college. Maine and Nebraska apportion their votes between congressional district and two at-large votes. Yet neither state has ever split its electoral vote.

The magic number of Electoral College votes is 270. If none of the presidential candidates receives a majority of votes November 2, the newly elected House of Representatives will pick the president from the top three Electoral College vote-getters. In that case, each state's delegation would pick a candidate as a bloc. The winner would require at least 26 votes to be elected.

Under the same scenario, the Senate would choose the vice president - from the top two Electoral College vote-getters for that office -- with each senator casting one vote. That leaves open the possibility that the president and vice president could be from different parties.

There is also the chance that an Electoral College voter could cast a ballot for a different candidate. Most of the time that is not a problem because of the great measures the parties go through to select the electors.

The two most common ways to choose the nominees to the college are by state party convention (36 states use this method) or by state party committee (10 states and the District of Columbia use this method).

There have been times when a so-called "faithless elector" bucked the system.

On a few occasions, a "faithless elector" has voted for another candidate. In 1988, a voter from West Virginia cast a ballot for Lloyd Bentsen instead of Michael Dukakis. In 1976, an elector from Washington voted for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford.

Although some states threaten "faithless electors" with penalties, no one has ever been prosecuted.


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