By Richard A. Posner
The 2000 Presidential election resulted in a collision of historical past, legislations, and the courts. It produced a impasse that dragged out the end result for over a month, and consequences--real and imagined--that promise to pull on for years. within the first in-depth learn of the election and its litigious aftermath, pass judgement on Posner surveys the background and thought of yankee electoral legislations and perform, analyzes which Presidential candidate ''really'' gained the preferred vote in Florida, surveys the litigation that ensued, evaluates the courts, the attorneys, and the commentators, and ends with a blueprint for reforming our Presidential electoral practices.
The e-book begins with an summary of the electoral approach, together with its background and guiding theories. It seems to be subsequent on the Florida election itself, exploring which candidate ''really'' received and no matter if this is often even a significant query. the point of interest then shifts to the advanced litigation, either country and federal, provoked by means of the picture end. at the foundation of the pragmatic jurisprudence that pass judgement on Posner has articulated and defended in his past writings, this ebook deals an alternate justification for the splendid Court's determination in Bush v. Gore whereas praising the court docket for heading off the chaotic results of an unresolved deadlock.
Posner additionally evaluates the functionality of the legal professionals who carried out the post-election litigation and of the lecturers who commented at the unfolding drama. He argues that neither Gore's nor Bush's legal professionals blundered heavily, yet that the response of the felony professoriat to the litigation uncovered critical flaws within the educational perform of constitutional legislation. whereas rejecting such radical strikes as abolishing the Electoral university or making a nationwide poll, Posner concludes with an in depth plan of possible reforms designed to prevent a repetition of the 2000 election fiasco.
Lawyers, political scientists, pundits, and politicians are ready to listen to what pass judgement on Posner has to assert. yet this publication is written for and may be welcomed by means of all who have been riveted by means of the new obstacle of presidential succession.
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Extra resources for Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts
That such a discrepancy might be anomalous could not even be perceived until it was customary to select Presidential electors by popular vote, as it was, however, by 1824. ) Without parties to winnow the candidates, electoral votes were likely to be scattered among numerous candidates, reducing the likelihood that anyone would receive a majority, especially as it was doubted that many men had sufficient national reputations to garner a majority of electoral votes. In a two-party system, in contrast, electors would be choosing between just the two candidates chosen by the parties.
2 It does not weight preferences by intensity or knowledge, and, partly for that reason, it does not impose a cost on the ignorant, irresponsible, or exploitive exercise of the franchise. Especially when the ballot is secret (which it has to be wherever there is concern about intimidation or other coercion, or undue influence), the voter is insulated from criticism, however just; he is neither rewarded for voting intelligently nor punished for voting stupidly. I have been speaking thus far of voting in its pure “one person– one vote” sense, however, and often impurities are deliberately introduced.
The effect is real, but other forces are also at work. After Reconstruction ended following the election of Rutherford Hayes to the Presidency in 1876, the Southern states, forced by the Fifteenth Amendment to extend the franchise to blacks, nevertheless were able through a variety of devices, ranging from poll taxes and literacy tests to outright intimidation, to disenfranchise most blacks. Moreover, the scope of 39. Yet not, oddly, by abolitionism. Although some Southerners linked abolitionism with universal suffrage (ibid.