Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, by Richard A. Posner

By Richard A. Posner

The 2000 Presidential election resulted in a collision of background, legislation, and the courts. It produced a impasse that dragged out the end result for over a month, and consequences--real and imagined--that promise to tug on for years. within the first in-depth learn of the election and its litigious aftermath, pass judgement on Posner surveys the historical past and concept of yankee electoral legislations and perform, analyzes which Presidential candidate ''really'' gained the preferred vote in Florida, surveys the litigation that ensued, evaluates the courts, the legal professionals, and the commentators, and ends with a blueprint for reforming our Presidential electoral practices.

The e-book begins with an summary of the electoral technique, together with its historical past and guiding theories. It seems subsequent on the Florida election itself, exploring which candidate ''really'' received and even if this is often even a significant query. the focal point then shifts to the complicated litigation, either country and federal, provoked by means of the photograph end. at the foundation of the pragmatic jurisprudence that pass judgement on Posner has articulated and defended in his earlier writings, this publication deals another justification for the perfect Court's choice in Bush v. Gore whereas praising the court docket for fending off the chaotic effects of an unresolved deadlock.

Posner additionally evaluates the functionality of the attorneys who performed the post-election litigation and of the teachers who commented at the unfolding drama. He argues that neither Gore's nor Bush's attorneys blundered heavily, yet that the response of the felony professoriat to the litigation uncovered severe flaws within the educational perform of constitutional legislation. whereas rejecting such radical strikes as abolishing the Electoral collage or making a nationwide poll, Posner concludes with an in depth plan of possible reforms designed to prevent a repetition of the 2000 election fiasco.

Lawyers, political scientists, pundits, and politicians are ready to listen to what pass judgement on Posner has to claim. yet this booklet is written for and should be welcomed by way of all who have been riveted via the new difficulty of presidential succession.

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Extra info for Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts

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The deadlock in the Electoral College had been caused by the fact that Article II of the Constitution, while giving each elector two votes, did not provide for the electors to vote separately for President and Vice President. The theory was that the best man would come in first and become President and the second-best man would come in second and become Vice President. But if the electors thought alike on who should be President 46. Keyssar, Right to Vote, at 32–33, 38; Williamson, American Suffrage, at 277–278; Testi, “Construction and Deconstruction,” at 388.

Writing in 1999, Longley and Peirce entitled their first chapter “The Election of 2000 Is Not Quite Decided: A Fantasy,” and in it sketched a scenario resulting in a deadlocked election and ensuing chaos. The deadlock in their fantasy, however, results from the fact that the electoral vote is split among three candidates (the authors added Colin Powell to Bush and Gore), none of whom has a majority of the electoral votes. The result is fierce politicking, first to get members of the Electoral College to switch, and later, when the election is thrown into the House of Representatives, to woo Congressmen.

There are minor exceptions to these generalizations about the form of the suffrage—a qualification that should be borne in mind throughout my brief survey of voting history. On that history, see Alexander Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000); Robert J. Dinkin, Voting in Revolutionary America: A Study of Elections in the Original Thirteen States, 1776–1789, ch. 2 (1982); Dinkin, Voting in Provincial America: A Study of Elections in the Thirteen Colonies, 1689–1776, ch.

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