- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

The first clear sign that a “heist” was underway was when Democrat Party hit men and professional character assassins worked hand in dirty hand with media allies to demean and discredit Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. The woman who was elected by the voters of Florida to supervise elections was the object of scathing personal attacks and the subject of dirt-digging investigations, which were intended to cower her into submission and invalidate her opinions and actions. No stone was left unthrown.

This was a clear declaration of political war and an intention to win it by any means available, fair or foul. The real news is that it was not news to the media that right in front of their eyes, for the first time in modern history, a campaign was launched to overturn a certified presidential election result with a barrage of lawsuits, forged by an army of legal mercenaries.

The real news is that not much was made of it when the Supreme Court of the United States judiciously vacated (voided) a decision of the Florida Supreme Court to rewrite Florida election statutes and redefine an established process for choosing presidential electors.

And not much was made of it — except by way of celebration — when, a few days later, a 4-to-3 majority of that Florida court did exactly the same thing all over again, choosing to ignore a federal law which prohibits changing the rules after an election is over, and choosing to disregard the Constitution itself, which says that the state legislature, not the court, has the plenary (unlimited) power to choose presidential electors any way it sees fit.

This judicial rebellion forced the U.S Supreme Court to again intervene and put a halt to the reckless legal adventurism of the Florida court. This action may become a historic benchmark, if it signals the reversal of a long-standing trend of judicial usurpation of powers the Constitution assigns to the legislative branch of government.

Liberals everywhere were surprised and upset when confronted with a constitutional truth they have long ignored, that there are genuinely legitimate limits to the authority of courts. Indeed, so accustomed has our society become to the court as the Ultimate Arbiter of all disputes, Supreme Advancer of liberal causes, and Beloved Bestower of special benefits and rights that could not be obtained by popular vote or legislation, that it came as an unwelcome shock that constitutional limits on the judiciary actually exist.

Liberal partisans were aghast when the Florida legislature said it might perform its constitutional duty to protect the integrity of a certified vote, but they had no problem with the unconstitutional usurpation of legislative power by a rogue court.

Florida Chief Justice C.J. Wells, who supported his court's first overreach of its authority, proved that you can teach an old liberal new tricks by writing a blistering dissent to the second attempt of his fellow judges to thwart the law: “I could not more strongly disagree with their decision to reverse the trial court and prolong this judicial process. I also believe that the majority's decision cannot withstand the scrutiny which will certainly immediately follow under the United States Constitution.”

Chief Justice Wells viewed the recount decision as illegal in that it had “no foundation in the law of Florida.” He was also critical of the recount procedure on grounds other than its illegality: “A continuing problem with these manual recounts is their reliability. It only stands to reason that many times a reading of a ballot by a human will be subjective, and the intent gleaned from that ballot is only in the mind of the beholder. This subjective counting is only compounded where no standards exist, or, as in this statewide contest, where there are no statewide standards for determining voter intent … “

Conventional “wisdom” says that manual counts are much more accurate than machine counts. In certain circumstances that might be true, but in the circumstances of the Florida recounts, as accurately described by Judge Wells, it is wrong. There is no way, except by wishful thinking, to conclude that the manual recount mandated by the Florida Supremes would have or could have yielded a fair and objective measure of the will of the people of Florida.

Vice President Algore has now discovered and liberals everywhere have been reminded that there is indeed a “controlling legal authority.” It is the Constitution of the United States, interpreted by justices who honor the letter and the spirit of what it says. May their numbers increase.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide