Next into the Fray: The High Court ; Partisan Election Case Could Alter Image of Supreme Court's Impartiality in Eyes of Some Americans

By Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

Next into the Fray: The High Court ; Partisan Election Case Could Alter Image of Supreme Court's Impartiality in Eyes of Some Americans


Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The US Supreme Court holds the power to break the deadlock in Florida's 2000 presidential election. But at what price?

If a majority of justices rule decisively in favor of George W. Bush or Al Gore, legal analysts say the court risks drawing accusations of political bias, or worse, charges that the high court is installing the next president.

With the nine justices set to hear arguments on Friday in the Florida election dispute, some analysts are questioning whether the case might alter public perceptions about one of America's most trusted and revered institutions.

"To some extent, it is an inevitable consequence of engaging in a high-stakes case, in which they have undertaken to solve the conflict between two presidential candidates," says Paul Rothstein, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. But he adds, "The United States Supreme Court enjoys much more respect from the people than does any state supreme court and it will, by and large, have legitimacy in all but the most partisan quarters."

Indeed, the US Supreme Court basks in a somewhat exalted status in comparison to the other two branches of the national government. And the justices jealously protect the court's image as an impartial forum for the resolution of thorny legal disputes.

But the court has also received its share of criticism. In addition, future high-court appointments were a campaign issue during the presidential election.

Seven of the nine justices were appointed by Republican presidents. But legal analysts stress that party affiliation alone is not an accurate predictor of how individual justices may rule.

Nonetheless, some observers are asking whether the US Supreme Court can avoid the taint of partisan politics in a case that is so obviously political.

"They can't," says Gov. Frank Keating, (R) of Oklahoma. "Everyone is a partisan."

Governor Keating and other Republican leaders are in Florida to witness the manual ballot recount and to register objections to a process they say is unfair.

"Judges are political like everyone else," adds Gov. William Janklow (R) of South Dakota, referring to the US Supreme Court. "They are not above politics."

The comments come less than a week after the Florida Supreme Court was lambasted in the wake of a decision that many Republicans viewed as an attempt by the Democrat-appointed justices to hand the election to Vice President Gore.

Governor Bush denounced the Florida court's decision as flagrant judicial activism.

"The court had cloaked its ruling in legalistic language," Bush said. "But make no mistake, the court rewrote the law. It changed the rules, and it did so after the election was over."

Did Florida court usurp authority?

Many legal analysts, including lawyers for Gore, say the Florida court's decision is entirely defensible on legal grounds. They say the justices used well-established methods to interpret ambiguous state statutes.

But other analysts agree with Bush that the state court seemed more than willing to wield the kind of power normally entrusted to elected officials. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Next into the Fray: The High Court ; Partisan Election Case Could Alter Image of Supreme Court's Impartiality in Eyes of Some Americans
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.