Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is either losing the mental capacity to remain on the court or he flat-out lied when he arrogantly told a crowd at Wesleyan University that had asked about the landmark 2000 Bush v. Gore decision,
“Get over it,” Scalia said of the controversy surrounding it, to laughter from the audience.“
Scalia reminded the audience it was Gore who took the election to court, and the election was going to be decided in a court anyway—either the Florida Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.
It was a long time ago, people forget…It was a 7-2 decision. It wasn’t even close,” he said.
Bush v. Gore, the unprecedented Supreme Court decision which abandoned state’s election rights to appoint the non-democratically elected 43rd President of the United States, is arguably one of the most important decisions to come from the court. Not because of the legal precedent. It set no precedent. The court made it clear that it was a one-time decision. It was important because of it was arguably a quiet coup. In short, the will of the people was thrown aside to make room for the will of the military/industrial (and media) complex.
At question was the vote count in Florida. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, not 7-2, argued that by continuing to count the vote, it would do “irreparable harm” to the credibility of the incoming administration and that people would question its legitimacy. The majority opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. Of course, the result of the opinion was that people questioned the legitimacy of the administration.
The dissenting opinion was that the federal court was stepping on the jurisdiction of the state court and that, ”Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm…Preventing the recount from being completed will inevitably cast a cloud on the legitimacy of the election.”
There is a reason that people are still asking about the decision. We will not “get over it” because the country has not gotten over it. We are still reeling from two decade long wars, from the international shame caused by the administration’s insistence on breaking international law, by the Bush tax cuts and by the fact that the Bush Supreme Court became even more conservative than the one who installed the new, undemocratically elected regime. Yes, we had a coup and Scalia was at the helm.
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