- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Supreme pasture

The most unusual protester outside the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday wasn't the man who stood directly between warring sides for Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, silently clutching his homemade sign: "Give it to Nader."
But he was close.
No, the oddest site was the large brown mule named Forty Acres, which stood beneath the marble landing of the nation's highest court.
"It's my mule," said John Boyd, a Mecklenburg County, Va., tobacco farmer and president of the National Black Farmers' Association.
"His name is Forty Acres, because Abraham Lincoln promised freed blacks 40 acres and a mule. Today, we don't want to lose our right to vote, and that's why we're here. Forty Acres represents the 40 acres we don't want to lose."
Understood, Mr. Boyd. But how difficult a process is it to get permission from Uncle Sam to lead a mule up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on arguably one of its most historic days ever?
"I had to call about 50 people," the farmer answered, shaking his head.

Texas slang

"Now, I suspect that ticket sales haven't been going great guns because Al Gore's been hangin' on to Dubya's ankle like some kinda demented Gila monster. But once he's in the clear, they'll be pouring in like crazy. If Al Gore's lookin' weak by this evenin', you'd best express mail your order."
Telegram yesterday to members of the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C., referring to the society's "Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball," to be held (or so they hope) Jan. 19, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

One for the books

Strolling into the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to listen to arguments surrounding Recount 2000, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch acknowledged he has seen more than his share of unprecedented days since first being elected a U.S. senator in 1976 "but never one like this.
At stake?
"The principles of the Constitution," he told Inside the Beltway.
The Utah Republican held no elective office before winning his seat on Capitol Hill 25 years ago. He'd previously practiced law, representing clients fighting, what else, federal regulations.

Doesn't end here

"I've seen a day like this," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told Inside the Beltway as he followed other dignitaries into the hallowed chamber of the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Selma, Alabama, was a day like this," Mr. Jackson continued, "when we [blacks] were fighting for the right to vote. This is not just an Al Gore and George W. Bush issue, this has become a civil rights issue, a right to vote issue."

A-list

Here's a few others with clout enough to squeeze yesterday into the pews of the U.S. Supreme Court:
Former Clinton White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler; former Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, who directed the landmark antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.; publishing magnate Mort Zuckerman; former State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler; former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole; Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat; Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican; Barbara Olson, lawyer and wife of chief Bush counsel Theodore B. Olson; Gore campaign manager William M. Daley; Bush campaign manager Don Evans, and Richard B. Cheney's two daughters, Mary and Liz.

Pardon the plug

We're pleased to report that Al Gore's attorney, David Boies, reads one of this nation's leading newspapers when here to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
"My son's favorite paper," Mr. Boies said about The Washington Times. "He lives in Virginia. I read it every time I visit him."

Progressive Party

Washington resident Dan McLagen, campaign spokesman for one-time Republican presidential hopeful Lamar Alexander, remained yesterday in Duval County, Fla., where he was preparing to help sort through 4,967 "undervotes" until the U.S. Supreme Court entered the recount room Saturday.
Checking the phone messages left at his home early yesterday, Mr. McLagen was surprised to hear an automated recording urging him and other "progressive Americans" to gather on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court and fight to have every vote counted in Florida.
"The message didn't mention Gore, and it didn't say who paid for it," Mr. McLagen noted. "Obviously, I was unable to join them, but for what it's worth I am here in Florida ready to count."

New club member

"My biggest concern in the 107th Congress is that Bill Clinton will be with my wife in the Senate spouses' club."
Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican.

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