Day of Supreme Drama Nation's Highest Court Questions Lawyers for Bush, Gore on Why It Should Act on Florida
Friedland, Bruce I., The Florida Times Union
WASHINGTON -- As the fight over the presidential election spilled into the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, justices peppered attorneys with questions touching on most legal aspects of the Florida dispute -- including why they should be involved.
"We're looking for a federal issue here," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, less than 10 minutes after Republican George W. Bush's attorney, Theodore Olson, began speaking. Olson found himself quickly engulfed in a barrage of questions.
"Why should the federal judiciary be interfering in what seems to be a very carefully thought-out scheme" for settling elections in Florida, Justice David Souter asked.
Laurence Tribe, a lawyer representing Democratic candidate Al Gore, underwent tough questioning, too.
In a 90-minute hearing, the nine-member court considered whether the Florida Supreme Court overstepped its authority in extending the deadline for certifying a winner to include results of hand recounts requested by Gore. The extra time narrowed Bush's lead from 930 votes to 537.
On Sunday, Bush was certified the winner in Florida, a decision Gore is contesting in state court.
Most of the Supreme Court justices expressed …
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Publication information: Article title: Day of Supreme Drama Nation's Highest Court Questions Lawyers for Bush, Gore on Why It Should Act on Florida. Contributors: Friedland, Bruce I. - Author. Newspaper title: The Florida Times Union. Publication date: December 2, 2000. Page number: Not available. © 2007 The Florida Times-Union. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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