US Supreme Court Reverses Supreme Court of Florida Judgement on Recounting of Ballots Calling It Unconstitutional

The United States Supreme Court Reverses the Judgement of the Supreme Court of Florida on Recounting of Ballots Calling it Unconstitutional: In Gore v. Harris, 772 So. 2d 1243, 2000 Fla, (Fla. Dec. 8, 2000), a majority of the Florida Supreme Court authorized a manual recount of untabulated ballots in the "contest" phase. See 102.168, Fla. Stat. (2000). To comport with due process and equal protection concerns, the Court ordered that the recount be conducted statewide and that the results be adjudicated by a single judge. The court dissented because he felt that the recount, as formulated, lacked sufficient guidelines and could not be completed promptly and fairly. The United States Supreme Court on the first day of the recount, i. e., December 9, stayed the recount and at 10 p. m., December 12, ruled that additional guidelines were required. The Court further held that December 12 was a mandatory deadline under the Florida Election Code and that any recount extending beyond that date was violative of Florida law, thus foreclosing the possibility of a recount. The United States Supreme Court ruled as follows: Because it is evident that any recount seeking to meet the December 12 date will be unconstitutional for the reasons we have discussed, we reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering a recount to proceed. ...Because the Florida Supreme Court has said that the Florida Legislature intended to obtain the safe-harbor benefits of 3 U.S.C. 5, Justice Breyer's proposed remedy- remanding to the Florida Supreme Court for its ordering of a constitutionally proper contest until December 18- contemplates action in violation of the Florida election code, and hence could not be part of an "appropriate" order authorized by Fla. Stat. 102.168(8) (2000).