January 9, 2001 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Winning isn't enough, it seems. GOP targets Florida Supreme Court Justices...
posted by black8 (19 comments total)
Wow, a fund-raising letter for an perfectly normal election campaign. Standard democracy at work.
posted by aaron at 10:09 PM on January 9, 2001

Uh, huh...just like the last election.
posted by black8 at 11:03 PM on January 9, 2001

The election hijinks weren't an isolated incident for this court. They have routinely struck down citizen amendment intiatives and gone out on a limb in other areas to the point where the Florida citizenry was already stirred up.

In fact, during the election, a few savvy commentators noted that the court was already hostile to Jeb Bush and the Republicans due it controversy over its rulings on the death penalty.

All of the current court were appointees of the late Gov. Lawton Chiles. At least one has no prior bench experience at all (former plaintiff's lawyer Fred Lewis), and the prime qualification for most of them is that they were friends of Chiles. The Florida GOP is smart to tap into the bubbling anger about the humiliation the state has suffered at the hands of this court.
posted by mikewas at 12:44 PM on January 10, 2001

People should remember that they impeached Judge Alcee Hastings from the Florida Supreme Court for bribery.That same corrupt Court choose to ignore the Florida and US Constitution on many issues and should be put under the microscope for their actions.Very carefully the affected judges ruled so that they wouldn't be seen as too vulnerable in this re-affirmation process.It doesn't matter because you can run but you can't hide from your original ruling which was unconstitutional and made them lawmakers not law interpreters.They deserve the scrutiny they are going to get and if you haven't figured it out Floprida is a GOP State with a better than 2/3 majority in both State legislative branches.Can you say"bye-bye"?The box for your personal possessions is on your desk.
posted by Ed Viehman at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2001

Not for long. Florida used to be solidly GOP and is now a toss-up state in presidential elections. The growth of the non-Cuban Hispanic community and the arrival of snowbird retirees from the Midwest into places like Tampa and Orlando doesn't bode well for that "2/3 majority."
posted by rcade at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2001

Instead of just leaving it well enough alone and getting on with the job of "playing" government, The Republicans feel they need to twist the knife a bit more?? How rediculous can you get I ask? Are they afraid that if it had gone through one more time that the correct candidate would have won? HMMM let me think like a Republican for a moment...kick out the enemy and let the Rep. Governor appoint more GOP sympathetic judges. Do I have it right? Are they trying to gear up for another voting screw-up? Well...the people in this state aren't going to go for it.
posted by Princess Buttercup at 1:20 PM on January 10, 2001

What are you smoking?The majority of the Counties went GOP and if I remember correctly that was 44 of 66.That sound you will hear over the next 3 to 4 months will be Child's appointed Justices going down in flames.They do not represent the present populace and if you are counting on seniors to go for this "Mediscare crap" that Gore and company put out in the election you better look at the demogeaphics of the vote.Seniors didn't believe that Bush wanted to put them out on ice floes and take their benefits.These judges are going down and quickly.They ignored the law and the Supreme Court and their own Chief Justice said they ignored the law and the Florida Constitution in his written dissent.You can't change the rules after the final whistle blows on a ball game or an election.This is acountry of laws and we elect legislators to make the rules and deadlines.Judges can not arbitrarily change them.There was no election fraud,just stupid voters and we have to allow for that in every election.This Gore did not win anywhere but in the population centers.32 of 50 states voted against him and for a man who is supposed to be President of us all the Framers had just the device.It was called the electoral college.Gore all ready knew he was going to lose Florida and decided to take his best shot at alleging irregularities in the Bush Brother's state of Florida.500 DFL lawyers hitting the ground running the day after the election did not emerge out of whole cloth.Think about it.Incidentally,all this moron Gore had to do to win was win either Tennessee or Arkansas .What did they know that we didn't?
posted by Ed Viehman at 1:29 PM on January 10, 2001

Princess Buttecup,The people in the State iof Florida have had it with Gore and Company looking under every lamp post for a victim.Blacks turned out at a record 19% versus 13% in previous elections and there were none make that no legitimate voting irregularities.Even in the Palm Tree county the ballot design and machines were selected and counted by DFL county workers.The famous ballot designer came to Hennepin County in Minneapolis to see the Opti Scan machinery that is virtually error free and chose not to spend the $2 million that it would take.She and the County opted for the Votamatic technology.Sorry it didn't work like you wanted but the vote is only as good as the ballot or the machinery.It is a given and a constant.We got rid of that stuff 20 years ago.Unfortunately,you live with what you get or you spend the money.No matter how hard I try I can't make my Honda perform and ride like a Cadillac.As you wish.Farm Boy aka the Dread Pirate Robert
posted by Ed Viehman at 1:43 PM on January 10, 2001

I can't believe how blatantly dense and blissfully ignorant the GOP has been with respect to this court's decision. The Florida Supreme Court didn't "change the rules after the ball game's over" (or any other sports analogy tailor made for the simple minded folk).

What you're missing entirely, and what the SCOTUS couldn't seem to grasp, is that the Florida Supreme Court did exactly what they are supposed to do: interpret the intent of the law and apply the laws passed by the legislature.

The law says that the balloting process is simply a method measuring voter intent. If voter intent is clearly discernible from the ballot, that vote should be counted. It's really that simple. That's what the Florida Supreme Court said. Look at the ballots, if a reasonably intelligent panel of citizens representing both parties can agree on the the intent of the voter, count it. A wrinkled dollar that the Coke machine doesn't recognize is still a dollar and is still legal.

The votes are being counted now. Probably around March we'll have confirmation of what we already know, that Bush never won Florida. The GOP bought this election and now they're trying to insure that they're never caught with their hands in the cookie jar again by buying the next round of judges.
posted by ritualdevice at 2:12 PM on January 10, 2001

small correction: Alcee Hastings was a Jimmy Carter-appointed Federal District Court judge, not a member of the Florida Supreme Court.

And, of course, there's no "DFL" in Florida. The "Demcratic - Farmer - Laborer Party" is an only-in-Minnesota thing.
posted by MattD at 2:14 PM on January 10, 2001

small correction: Alcee Hastings was a Jimmy Carter-appointed Federal District Court judge, not a member of the Florida Supreme Court.

And, of course, there's no "DFL" in Florida. The "Demcratic - Farmer - Laborer Party" is an only-in-Minnesota thing.
posted by MattD at 2:14 PM on January 10, 2001

That sound you will hear over the next 3 to 4 months will be Child's appointed Justices going down in flames.

You won't get a chance to vote any of those Supremes out of office until 2002, and even then only two of them are up for a renewal vote.
posted by rcade at 2:45 PM on January 10, 2001

The sound you will hear can be the Justices going down if the legislature decides to impeach them.That way they don't have to wait for 2002.Malfeasance alone could do it.The Court chose to ignore the law,tried to stop the certification of the votes which was mandated by law and the constitution,And as far as counting the votes goes,they had exceeded the protest period so they extended a deadline that was not in the law or the Constitution.They created new law and new subjective deadlines which they are not allowed to do (witness the US Supreme Court ruling of 7-2 on that issue not 5-4.)The Court may interpret ,they may not legislate.That is why we have elections.As far as a "DFL thing in Minnesota" as identifying the Democrats goes,it is in Mn,Ia,Wi,ND,SD,and Ne that we identify it as the DFL and the Republicans as the GOP.We also have the king of flakes,Ventura, as our governor and heading up the Minnesota Reform Party versus the Reform Party of Ross Perot.
posted by Ed Viehman at 6:22 AM on January 11, 2001

Dear Mr. Roberts Sir....I have on more than one occasion hung my head at the fact that I live in the laughing stock of the nation. But on the flip side I live in one of the few counties that did not have even ONE voting discrepency. That said, I don't think the people of this state are so much tired of Gore's whining than of the fact that our system's screw-ups finally showed their ugly heads and they (the people) had no recourse. I'm going to stay out of the "Did the right man win?" debate.

Now I have to accept our President-elect and we all need to move onward and upward. But that MUST include reviewing and/or completely overhauling our current election process.

(Boy, will you fetch me that pitcher?)

posted by Princess Buttercup at 7:20 AM on January 11, 2001

The sound you will hear can be the Justices going down if the legislature decides to impeach them.

Gov. Bush has already spoken out against efforts to remove justices.
posted by rcade at 8:05 AM on January 11, 2001

What is neede in all this debate is a simple solution.You can't cry over spilled milk.The results are what they are-a sanpshot in time when the final whistle blew.What can be done in evey precinct in America in every federal election from this point on is one standard ballot for federal offices and one type of machinery-Opti-Scan or the equivalent thereof.We have a national FEC that is upposed to make sure that all elections are fair and that candidates and parties follow the election laws.It's so simple it screams at us.They put these machines in Hennepin County in Minnesota for $2 million.It rejects on the scan any double voting on any ballot in any office.Any screwed-up ballot is automatically accounted for ,signed off on by two election judges as a non-vote and invalid and not allowed to be counted.The voter is given a new ballot and tries again.He or she submits the ballot to the machine again which asseses it for errors and then electronically sends that result error free to the County voter registrars office computer by mobile phone line.It is almost dummy proof and that is not a slam on the good people of Florida.The money and the support for this ,I believe to be overwhelming, and should be one of the first items of businees in the new Congress.
posted by Ed Viehman at 9:05 AM on January 11, 2001

People should remember that they impeached Judge Alcee Hastings from the Florida Supreme Court for bribery.

Ed: This is incorrect. Alcee Hastings was a U.S. District judge, I believe from the Southern District of Florida. You are correct that he was impeached after his conviction for bribery.

even then only two of them are up for a renewal vote.

Rcade: I think it's three - I've know that Anstead and Wells are up, and I've heard Shaw as well.
posted by mikewas at 11:02 AM on January 11, 2001

Rcade and Mikewas,thejudges involved either two or three went with the minoroty based on advice from their Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.That way they could seek some political cover on the revesal of the US Supreme.Remember ,when asked what their reasoning was for overturning the lower courts,they provided nothing to the US Supremes.In other words,they exceeded their authority and were caught red-handed.This was a slap- down plain and simple and certain people are having problems dealing with the rules in place at the beginning of the election and a written constitution plainly spelling out the fine details of protest time,deadlines and certification.Despite moving and extending deadline after deadline,they couldn't get it done.Rather they couldn't get it undone.You screw up in life ,you pay the price.If you hand in your homework late,you get an incomplete.If you cheap out and buy a Votamatic technology,you will have voting problems.Finally,the right to vote involves getting informed and voting responsibly.If that requires you registering or pre-registering because of a particular sttate's laws,it is incumbent upon you to do your job as a citizen.This aint brain surgery.Make sure you punch the hole all the way through,the instructions are on the wall and sometimes on the ballot booth walls.If you think you screwed-up,you walk over to an election judge with your ballot and ask the question and solve the problem at that moment,not 25 minutes later when you get home.A little antecdotal stuff in Florida and the whole thing is cursed.If the would just tell the truth that Gore had all ready known that he was going to lose Florida it would be refreshing.The hokum by the phone bank out of Texas that was foisted about little Jewish grannnies mistakenly voting for Buchanan held no water in the recount.Imagine that! 500 lawyers hitting the ground running with briefs did not happen by accident.They were in the air election evening.Daley coordinated this whole thing because they would not let this stand and the idea of a GOP President was unacceptable.Now they say they want to get along and all they are doing is spoiling the inauguration,fighting the Cabinet posts on specious grounds and acting like they won.No they lost it all this time with record turnouts in the Cities and among minorities.This will be scorched earth for these people and the whole time they will pretend to be "bipartisan" .Wait to you see the vitriol they trot out against Ashcroft.He'll basically be on defense as they try and tar him with anything.It's kind of like when somebody says to you,"Do you still beat your wife and children?"How do you overcome that? ED
posted by Ed Viehman at 11:38 AM on January 11, 2001

Mikewas: Shaw is forced to retire in 2003. The other two are up for a renewal vote in 2002.
posted by rcade at 9:14 PM on January 11, 2001

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