LII Backgrounder on Election 2000


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If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.

--U.S. Code, 3 U.S.C. § 5


The Presidential election of 2000 was unique in recent history in the degree it exposed issues of election law and process and generated judicial proceedings. All of this happened in an era when the Internet allowed swift public access to briefs, oral argument, orders and opinions. Because Florida, the state in the eye of this storm, had already set a high standard in opening both trial and appellate proceedings to the public its performance during this period generated expectations that led the Supreme Court of the United States to unprecedented levels of transparency.

A brief summary of this remarkable record of the key judicial actions, ending with December 12 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme is set out here, along with the key documents in those actions, key provisions of federal and state law, and oral arguments.


U.S. Supreme Court - Bush v. Gore

U.S. Supreme Court - Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Bd.

Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals


Florida Supreme Court - Gore v. Harris

Florida Supreme Court - Palm Beach County Canvassing Bd. v. Harris


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