Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bush v. Gore case brief

Bush v. Gore case brief summary
531 U.S. 98 (2000)

CASE SYNOPSIS
The petition of appellant presidential candidate and others for writ of certiorari to the Florida Supreme Court was granted in a case ordering the manual recount of ballots cast in a presidential election in one county and the inclusion of votes identified for respondent presidential candidate in the certified vote total for two other counties.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The lower court had ordered a manual recount of votes cast in one county and had ordered that the votes for respondent presidential candidate identified in two other counties be included in the certified vote totals.

DISCUSSION
  • 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. 
  • In a per curiam opinion, the Court concluded that the lower court's decision violated the equal protection clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV because the lower court failed to identify and require standards for accepting or rejecting contested ballots. 
  • Moreover, the decision to include a partial total from one county gave no assurance that the recounts included in the final certification were required to be complete. 
  • Thus, the recount procedures were inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the special instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer. 
  • The Court reversed the judgment of the lower court and remanded for further proceedings.
CONCLUSION
Judgment reversed and case remanded for further proceedings because recount procedures adopted by lower court were inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the special instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer.

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