Non-Political Court System Melting Fast
U.S. Supreme Court Threatening to Cancel Democracy's Vote
Angry Republican Leaders Trashing Florida's Supreme Court
By Jack Nichols
“The last couple of days have been truly frightening,” worried Senator Robert Torricelli of New Jersey.
Democratic strategists, arguing today before the U.S. Supreme Court and hoping to re-start Florida's vote count, have not been as impolitic as have their GOP opponents when reacting to court decisions. On Sunday, Gore's lead attorney, David Boies, told Meet the Press that both he and the Gore campaign had long ago agreed that they'd respectfully abide by the high court's decisions.
At the same time, independent journalists are asking, “What sort of legitimacy can the U.S. Supreme Court claim if—in a sharply split vote along party lines—it refuses to allow the Florida Supreme Court's manual vote-counting to proceed?”
Such manual counts, many in the media have noted, are the legal brainchild of the Florida legislature itself. It is commonplace in other states where there are contested elections, to employ hand-and-eye recounts.
“Are Republicans willing hereafter to renounce hand-examination-recounts of ballots in every election they may contest in states where it will be accepted?” others asked scornfully.
“Abraham Lincoln appointed his own campaign manager to the United States Supreme Court and other presidents have used the court similarly for political ends. Our myth of a non-partisan judiciary is just that. The judiciary has repeatedly been involved in partisan politics.”
Justice Anthony Scalia, speaking for the 5-member Republican majority on the Court, showed himself willing to predict the outcome of today's high court hearing, stating in haste that there is already a “preponderance” of reasons at the time of this writing (in what is still a pre-argued case) that clearly favor the Bush campaign.
Weeks earlier, while on the campaign trail, Vice-president Gore had described Justice Scalia as “the most far-right member of the (U.S. Supreme) Court.” George W. Bush, on the other hand, called Scalia his model for possible future appointments he'd make were he to become president.
Democratic strategists who've been asked, expect that Al Gore, if the U.S. Supreme Court calls a permanent halt to Florida's vote count, will be gracious and will recommend, if no remedies exist, that Americans cooperate with the inevitable Bush regime.
But there are many more outraged citizens like Florida's veteran gay activist, Bob Kunst, who says he'll never accept the legitimacy of a Bush-led government. “They are trying to stop the vote because they know they'll lose,” he charges. He says there are thousands like him who live in South Florida and who are outraged at Bush's highly suspect strategy, disallowing fair counts.
“Bush makes a mockery of democracy. He's a fascist traitor. He and his oil rich cronies told us repeatedly before November 7 that they would trust the people. Hah! They don't give a damn about the will of the people or they'd count our state's votes and lose properly like they're supposed to. But no, they'll kill to hold onto power if they think they must. You should get a whiff of those gun-loving militia types out screaming en masse for Bush. They are so fanatical. They must be the brownshirts.”
Kunst and eight others gathered yesterday in the middle of a rainstorm at the Miami-Dade Government Center. On this spot only two weeks beforehand, a Republican “rent a mob” flown to Florida by Rep. Tom DeLay, had threatened the local canvassing board, after which it quit its counting of votes.
Kunst and his rain-soaked companions burned mock ballots while WFOR-TV (a CBS affiliate) captured them on film. “These were 'Mockery of Democracy' ballots,” Kunst told GayToday, “because the U.S. Supremes have betrayed all of America by giving Bush political support and ignoring Florida's laws, and, more importantly, its voters.”
“Its easier to win the Florida lottery than to get our votes counted by these bums,” lamented the long time gay crusader.