Still Time to Impeach the Supreme Court Five

Still Time to Impeach the Supreme Court Five

Still Time to Impeach the Supreme Court Five

An interview with Vincent Bugliosi about the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Bush v. Gore.

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The media consortium review of disputed Florida presidential ballots concluded that George W. Bush would have won the recount the US Supreme Court blocked. So is the debate on the Court's intervention over? No way, says Vincent Bugliosi, the trial lawyer who wrote The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President (Nation Books). He spoke with Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols.

 

THE NATION:

Does the consortium's conclusion absolve the Justices?

 

 

BUGLIOSI:

Of course not. George Bush was inaugurated on January 20 not because of any finding that he had won Florida after a count of all valid undervotes; he was inaugurated solely because of the Supreme Court's ruling on December 12. The consortium's report does not change that reality at all. The finding by the consortium that Bush would have won a recount is totally, completely, utterly irrelevant…. No one claims the Justices were clairvoyant. So to judge these Justices by the final result–i.e., by the findings of the consortium, which I have no reason not to accept, rather than by their intentions at the time they engaged in their conduct–would be like exonerating someone who shoots to kill if the bullet happens to miss the victim.

 

 

THE NATION:

But if you accept a review that says Bush would have won the recount, is it right to say that the Court "stole" the election for Bush?

 

 

BUGLIOSI:

Let me offer an illustrative example: If the Los Angeles Lakers are leading the Boston Celtics by two points in the last game of the NBA playoffs with one minute to go, and suddenly the referee stops the game and hands the title to the Lakers, anyone would say the referee stole the NBA championship for the Lakers. Who would make the preposterous argument that if the Lakers and Celtics had played the game out the Lakers would win anyway, so what difference does it make what the referee did? Bush winning a media recount has nothing at all to do with the fact that the Justices intervened inappropriately to steal an election–and in so doing committed one of the most serious crimes in American history. The two realities are independent of each other…. A 5-year-old could see that, even if most of the media cannot.

 

 

THE NATION:

So Bush remains a selected, not elected, President?

 

 

BUGLIOSI:

Precisely. And we cannot have the Supreme Court picking our President–which is exactly what happened here–whether or not their pick ended up to be correct.

 

 

THE NATION:

Since September 11, many voices that had taken up your call to impeach the Justices have gone silent. Will history, as well, be silent on this issue?

 

 

BUGLIOSI:

Obviously September 11 dealt a solar plexus blow to this whole movement…. But I think that in the dispassionate light of the future, history is going to be harsh on us. We already know the moral bankruptcy and the destitution of character of these five Justices. They have proven that. But if we Americans meekly allow what the Court did to stand, without demonstrating our absolute outrage, what does that say about our character? I think history is going to be harsh not just on the Supreme Court but on the American people for allowing this to happen without marching in the streets. History will say we should have been in the streets.

 

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