Lest we forget–just over six months ago, the Rehnquist Court stole an election in broad daylight. In fear of the truth, the Scalia Five intervened to block all votes from being counted, an action “unprecedented” (both historically and judicially) in US history. Though the June 12 “anniversary” went unnoticed by the media, we must never forget.
Was it the worst Supreme Court decision in US history, as American University Constitutional scholar Jamin Raskin has suggested? Considering that Raskin is a staunch civil rights advocate, the very thought that he would rank Bush v. Gore lower than both the Dred Scott and Plessy rulings is instructive. Nor does Raskin stand alone in his opinion of this judicial coup.
Justice John Paul Stevens
: “One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. I respectfully dissent.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
: “In sum, the Court’s conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court’s own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States. I dissent.” And related is the unsigned per curiam decision of the Scalia 5, a transparent attempt to try to avoid history’s scarlet letter.
, former presidential speechwriter: “The election of 2000 was not stolen. It was expropriated.”
, Temple University: “We had a constitutional crisis, and it was Bush v. Gore. History will not be kind.”
, Vanderbilt University: “There is really very little way to reconcile this opinion other than that they wanted Bush to win.”
, legal scholar: “They have…made it impossible for citizens of the United States to sustain any kind of faith in the rule of law as something larger than the self-interested political preferences of William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O’Connor.”
, Harvard University: “But we should also insist that there be no confirmation for Scalia-like champions of the right-wing agenda. The Supreme Court has hurt its own reputation by wrongly intervening to ensure the victory of George W. Bush. Those who abhor what the Court did should say so and say so loudly and clearly.”
Jesse Jackson and John Sweeney
: “But if it comes down for justices to the 14th amendment and the promise of equal protection, one can only hope for the sake of the country that they consider how not counting all the votes mirrors too closely the habits of heart and mind that brought us slavery and segregation–the original sins of our nation that the equal protection clause sought to repair.”