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Scalia said he had no regrets about the court’s decision.

“No regrets at all,” the justice said. “Especially because it’s clear that the thing would have ended up the same way anyway. The press did extensive research into what would have happened if (what) Al Gore wanted done had been done, county by county, and he would have lost anyway.”

The justice’s recollection of the outcome of the vote-by-vote review sponsored by eight news organizations, including The Associated Press, was more definitive than the AP reported when the review was released in November 2001.

“Completing two partial recounts that Gore unsuccessfully pursued in court showed Bush maintaining a lead ranging between 225 and 493 votes.

“Under any standard that tabulated all disputed votes statewide, however, Gore erased Bush’s advantage and emerged with a tiny lead that ranged from 42 to 171 votes.

“Strikingly, all these outcomes were closer than even the narrow 537 votes of Bush’s official victory. With numbers that tiny, experts said it would be impossible to interpret the survey results as definitive,” the AP reported.

Scalia is beginning a book tour promoting his new book, “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts” with co-author Bryan A. Garner.

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Associated Press writer Mark Sherman contributed to this sto