Retired Justice O’Connor suggests for 1st time that court should have avoided Bush v. Gore
By Associated Press
April 29, 2013
WASHINGTON — Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is suggesting for the first time that the court should have stayed out of the 2000 presidential election dispute between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
The 83-year-old O’Connor tells the Chicago Tribune editorial board that perhaps she and her colleagues should have turned down the Bush campaign’s appeal of a Florida Supreme Court decision to allow a recount requested by the Gore campaign.
O’Connor was in the majority in the high court’s 5-4 decision that stopped the recount and sealed Bush’s election. She has long lamented the controversy over the decision that she said gave the court a “less-than-perfect reputation.”
But in the past, O’Connor has said the court had no choice but to take on the case. She retired in 2006.
Ex-Supreme Court justice has second thoughts on Bush v. Gore
By Mark Murray, Senior Political Editor
April 29, 2013
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor expressed doubts that the nation's highest court should have ruled on the controversial Bush v. Gore case that decided the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.
"It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue," O'Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Friday. "Maybe the court should have said, 'We're not going to take it, goodbye.'"
The Tribune has more from O'Connor:
The case, she said, "stirred up the public" and "gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation."
"Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision," she said. "It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn't done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day."
O'Connor, who was appointed to the court by Ronald Reagan in 1981, was part of the 5-4 majority deciding to stop the recount in the crucial battleground state of Florida.