Friday, June 27, 2008

Scalia On Bush/Gore 2000: It's Gore's Fault

"Richard Nixon, when he lost to [John F.] Kennedy thought that the election had been stolen in Chicago, which was very likely true with the system at the time," Justice Antonin Scalia told The Telegraph.

"But he did not even think about bringing a court challenge. That was his prerogative. So you know if you don't like it, don't blame it on me.

"I didn't bring it into the courts. Mr Gore brought it into the courts.

"So if you don't like the courts getting involved talk to Mr Gore."

Justice Scalia, a conservative justice who was appointed to America's highest court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, said he and the other justices had no option but to intervene once Mr Gore sought to overcome Mr Bush via the lower courts.

He said that he "of course" regretted that the Supreme Court had become involved. "But I don't know how we could have avoided it. Could we have declined to accept the case on the basis that it wasn't important enough?

"And you know bear in mind that the issue wasn't whether or not the election was going to be decided by a court or not. It was whether it was going to be decided by the Florida court or by the United States Supreme Court, for a federal election.

"So I have no regrets about taking the case and I think our decision in the case was absolutely right. But if you ask me 'Am I sorry it all happened?' Of course I am sorry it happened there was no way that we were going to come out of it smelling like a rose.

"I mean, one side or the other was going to feel that was a politicised decision but that goes with the territory."

He flatly denied there was any "partisan prejudice" involved in the 5-4 ruling, adding that "if you want to look for partisan decisions" then they could be found in the Florida supreme court's rulings.

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