- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 16, 2000

Nobles: The justices of the Unites States Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law in this week's decision, George W. Bush vs. Albert Gore Jr.

Al Gore's campaign clung to the presidential race with all the tenacity of dimpled chad hanging onto a Florida ballot. But in the end, it wasn't enough. The U.S. Supreme Court, citing the inability of state vote canvassers to apply a single standard to interpret voters' intent from hanging chads, "dimpled" chads or African Chads, stopped vote recounts in Florida. Mr. Gore's presidential hopes died with them.

In a 7-2 opinion released Tuesday night the high court said that "there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy." The majority agreed that, "We are presented with a situation where a state court with the power to assure uniformity has ordered a statewide recount with minimal procedural safeguards. When a court orders a statewide remedy, there must be at least some assurance that the rudimentary requirements of equal treatment and fundamental fairness are satisfied."

While pundits and politicians will continue to comment on the opinion, the Supreme Court set a standard for accurately balancing fairness and equal protection which should last for a long time to come.

Knave: The Reverend Jesse Jackson, for again attempting to ignite the fires of racial hatred.

Mr. Jackson has used incendiary rhetoric throughout the election, but this week, he went volcanic. On Tuesday, he compared the Supreme Court's ruling to the Dred Scott decision of 1857 which blocked blacks from U.S. citizenship, and he called for a "civil rights explosion," saying, "We will take to the streets right now, we will delegitimize Bush, discredit him, do whatever it takes, but never accept him." He accused Florida Gov. Jeb Bush of "a bold attempt to take from people their franchise," and talked of "a systemic plan to disenfranchise black voters," which included everything from roadblocks to voter intimidation.

Yet 900,000 black Americans voted in Florida, 65 percent more than did so in the 1996 presidential elections. According to a report in USA Today, one of the "roadblocks" was a "routine 90-minute driver's license/faulty equipment checkpoint, more than 2 miles from any polling place and just like other stops established 31 times in the region in the month prior to November 7th." Of 150 drivers stopped, the paper reported, 18 received tickets for violations or warnings; 6 were minorities, and 12 where white.

Like any other demagogue, Mr. Jackson has never let inconvenient facts get in the way of his rhetoric, and he has never hesitated to step into a kerosene swamp of racial hatred. Ironically, his baseless analogy between this week's high court decision and that of Dred Scott does nothing more than diminish the significance of the latter: That is, if Dred Scott is no more discriminatory and backward than this decision is, it must not have been that bad. His revisionism does no service to history or to minorities.

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