After more than twelve years, you admit that you might have gotten it wrong after all. You told the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune:
Maybe the court should have said, 'We're not going to take it, goodbye.and, perhaps, most tellingly:
"Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision," she said. "It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn't done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day (emphasis my own)."Why did you come to this decision now? Yes, there are new facts in evidence, but they have been in evidence for more than a decade; namely the fact that nearly all the post-election statewide press recounts have shown that Al Gore, not George W. Bush, won Florida and thus the presidential election. Still, that does not change the relevant facts that you should have been aware of as a longstanding member of the bar.
In Bush v. Gore you signed your name to a per curiam ("by the court") opinion. Such opinions are generally reserved for unanimous decisions in uncontroversial matters; a 5-4 decision that decides a presidential election is the very opposite of that. More so, it displays the guilty mind that you and your compatriots had in the inability of even one of you to affix a name to that decision as the author.
Having been a member of the bar for nearly sixty years, and having served on the Supreme Court for nearly twenty-five, you are well aware that our system of common law holds that current decisions are precedent for future cases. Despite that knowledge, you affixed your name to a decision which states:
Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances (emphasis my own), for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.That you and your compatriots put such a line in — that you made clear this case was not to be precedent for future decisions — is all but an admission that the decision was political; it is all but an admission that this decision was made to suit the needs and desires of the five-member majority, the law be damned.
In November and December of 2000 you were in a position to determine a presidential election and thus our country's future. After over 100 million Americans voted, it came down to nine unelected justices. A bare majority of those justices — including you — decided to nullify the will of the people and hand the election to the person that lost the popular vote and the person, who after the recount you helped stop, also lost the electoral vote.
In December 2000 you said that irreparable harm flowed from the simple action of counting all the votes. Perhaps you were on to something given how desperately your party now seeks to prevent people from voting rather than convince voters that their ideas were better. Back then you had the chance to make the right decision. You chose not to. Today, more than twelve years, two wars and massive tax cuts for the wealthy that have threatened our fiscal health, later you apologize. It is far too little and far too late.
If you have not read this piece by Vincent Bugliosi, I suggest that you do so.