By Nichols, John
The Nation , Vol. 273, No. 18
The media consortium review of disputed Florida presidential ballots concluded that George W. Bush would have won the recount the US Supreme Court blocked. So is the debate on the Court's intervention over? No way, says Vincent Bugliosi, the trial lawyer who wrote The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President (Nation Books). He spoke with Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols.
THE NATION: Does the consortium's conclusion absolve the Justices?
BUGLIOSI: Of course not. George Bush was inaugurated on January 20 not because of any finding that he had won Florida after a count of all valid undervotes; he was inaugurated solely because of the Supreme Court's ruling on December 12. The consortium's report does not change that reality at all. The finding by the consortium that Bush would have won a recount is totally, completely, utterly irrelevant.... No one claims the Justices were clairvoyant. So to judge these Justices by the final result--i.e., by the findings of the consortium, which I have no reason not to accept, rather than by their intentions at the time they engaged in their conduct--would be like exonerating someone who shoots to kill if the bullet happens to miss the victim.
THE NATION: But if you accept a review that says Bush would have won the recount, is it right to say that the Court "stole" the election for Bush?
BUGLIOSI: Let me offer an illustrative example: If the Los Angeles Lakers are leading the Boston Celtics by two points in the last game of the NBA playoffs with one minute to go, and suddenly the referee stops the game and hands the title to the Lakers, anyone would say the referee stole the NBA championship for the Lakers. …