ELECTION 2000 FORUM
AKHIL REED AMAR AND
VIKRAM DAVID AMAR
A CRITIQUE OF THE TOP TEN MODERN ARGUMENTS FOR THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
PART TWO OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON 2000 ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar take aim at the top ten modern arguments for the electoral college. The Amars contend that most arguments against direct Presidential elections would, if accepted, destroy our longstanding tradition of direct gubernatorial elections, too. Others simply do not outweigh the fundamental one person, one vote principle.
Friday, Dec. 14, 2001
HISTORY, SLAVERY, SEXISM, THE SOUTH, AND THE ELECTORAL
PART ONE OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON THE 2000 ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar explain the deep flaws in traditional explanations for why we have the electoral college, rather than a simpler direct election system, in Presidential elections. The Amars contend the electoral college is not really about giving smaller states a bigger voice; instead, the system has tainted origins relating to north/south tensions, slavery, and even the denial of women's suffrage.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2001
THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT AND ITS CRITICS
FindLaw columnist and federal prosecutor Barton Aronson examines the interpretive rules that the Florida Supreme used in reaching its decision on manual recounts; concludes that these rules are reasonable and traditional, not partisan; and criticizes the tendency in election commentary to describe judicial opinions such as this one as partisan when in fact, they are not.
Friday, Dec. 01, 2000
THE UNPRINCIPLED JURISPRUDENCE OF JUSTICE SCALIA
FindLaw columnist, Rutgers law professor, and former Supreme Court clerk Sherry Colb examines the jurisprudence of Justice Scalia on free speech issues. Scalia -- a major force behind the Supreme Court's recent Bush v. Gore election decision -- is less principled than he claims, Colb argues, for he generally rules to protect speech he likes and disfavor speech he dislikes. In the election decision, Colb contends, Scalia followed this trend -- suppressing voters' message that Gore should be President because he disagreed with it.
Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2000
WHAT COUNTS AS "VOTING"? THE ELECTION'S CRUCIAL QUESTION
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb examines the current controversies over whether a voter who only dimples his ballot has voted, and over how to count the vote of a voter who meant to punch the hole for Gore, but punched the hole for Buchanan instead. Using analogies to everyday events such as buying a train ticket or filling in the bubbles on a standardized test form, Professor Colb helps to clarify our perceptions about what should, or should not, count as voting.
Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2000
WHY GEORGE W. BUSH'S POSITION ON RU-486 IS IN TENSION WITH HIS POSITION ON
PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION
Rutgers Law Professor and former Blackmun clerk Sherry Colb contends that George W. Bush's stand on "partial birth" abortion is inconsistent with his stand on RU486.
Monday, Oct. 23, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S INDICTMENT AND PARDON COMING SOON
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean predicts that Independent Counsel Ray will indict President Clinton shortly after Clinton leaves office; suggests that the indictment issue may play out quite differently depending on whether the new president is Gore or Bush; and considers whether Clinton would be well-advised to either pardon himself, or accept a pardon from the new president.
Friday, Dec. 8, 2000
DELAY: A SIGNIFICANT SETBACK FOR THE NEW PRESIDENT
FindLaw columnist and former Counsel to the President John Dean explains the consequences, for the country and the next President, that are mounting day by day as the transition to a new administration continues to be delayed. He speculates about how the new president may be able to work to regain the popular mandate he will not initially enjoy.
Friday, Nov. 24, 2000
AMERICANS DON'T VOTE, AND HOW THAT MIGHT CHANGE
Now that Election Day is over, former White House Counsel and FindLaw columnist John Dean examines the reasons for why American voters are vanishing from election booths and looks at a solution to stop this downward spiral.
Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2000
THE SUPREME COURT'S BAIT AND SWITCH
Columbia Law School Vice-Dean and professor Michael C. Dorf, a FindLaw Columnist, explains why the Supreme Court's two Gore v. Bush decisions were, in his view, themselves the reason that completing a Florida statewide recount by December 12 was rendered impossible.
Friday, Dec. 15, 2000
WE NEED A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
FindLaw columnist and Columbia law professor Michael Dorf highlights a crucial consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions of December 4 (remanding to the Florida Supreme Court) and December 9 (staying the statewide manual recount the Florida Supreme Court had ordered). These decisions, Professor Dorf argues, held that citizens have no right to vote in Presidential elections. That should be changed, he argues, by Constitutional amendment.
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2000
FOR THIS BITTERLY FOUGHT ELECTION
FindLaw columnist Michael Dorf, who is Vice Dean and profesor of law at Columbia Law School, examines the roots of the bitter legal battles that have characterized this closely fought Presidential election. He traces the legalization of our politics from Watergate, to the Jones suit, to the recent impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2000
THE ELECTION DISPUTE POSES A FAMILIAR PROBLEM FOR THE COURTS
Columbia Law School professor and Vice Dean Michael C. Dorf counters the oft-heard argument that the Presidential election's disputes should not be brought to court. Professor Dorf also notes, however, that as is typical in law, a tradeoff between rule-enforcement and justice may have to occur for these disputes to be resolved.
Monday, Nov. 13, 2000
BUSH'S AFFIRMATIVE ACCESS
FindLaw columnist and Columbia law professor Michael C. Dorf explains the meaning of George W. Bush's "affirmative access," and why it is very unlikely to be as effective as affirmative action.
Wednesday, Nov. 01, 2000
As part of his education policy, George W. Bush has proposed providing federal grants to the states for a number of programs. A Columbia Law School professor questions whether these programs would survive the scrutiny of the Justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court.
Monday, Sep. 11, 2000
HOLDING THE PRESS ACCOUNTABLE AS IT "RECOUNTS"
FindLaw columnist and NYU law professor Marci Hamilton sets down principles that, she argues, should guide the press' post-election evaluation of Florida votes. Professor Hamilton contends that the Supreme Court's recent decision, which led to Vice President Gore's concession, provides standards of fairness and equality among voters that should not only be honored by state legislatures, but also considered carefully by the press before it purports, in retrospective, to ascertain who the "real" vote count winner in Florida was.
Thursday, Dec. 21, 2000
WHY THE SUPREME COURT'S OPINION WAS NEITHER PARTISAN NOR POLITICAL
FindLaw columnist, NYU law professor, and former Supreme Court clerk Marci Hamilton defends the U.S. Supreme Court's recent per curiam opinion, which had the effect of deciding the election, from charges that it was partisan and political. Hamilton contends that Justices in both the majority and in dissent found broad agreement on the case's voting rights issue (7-2) that was more significant than their split (5-4) as to remedy, and that the case will be remembered historically as an important Equal Protection Clause precedent, not as an instance of party politics as many have claimed.
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000
THE ELECTION -- NOT
CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS, AFTER ALL
FindLaw columnist and NYU law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the many Constitutional mechanisms that have come into play, both directly and more subtly, in the election -- ranging from federalism to separation of powers to the First Amendment -- and concludes that our Constitutional structure has admirably preserved social order and civility in a situation that could have become chaotic.
Thursday, Dec. 07, 2000
GEORGE W.: A TRUE BIPARTISAN
Law Professor and FindLaw columnist Marci Hamilton contends that George W. Bush's claim that he can form bipartisan coalitions is accurate -- as is evidenced by his support for Texas' compromise version of its Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2000
COULD THE ELECTION HAVE COME OUT DIFFERENTLY, IF ONLY THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT HAD ACTED DIFFERENTLY?
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden contends that the Florida Supreme Court's failure to respond promptly to the U.S. Supreme Court's remand order in the first Gore v. Bush case, concerning the manual recount deadline, may have insulted and piqued a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, she suggests that absent this insult, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week might have come out differently -- and a Bush presidency might not have resulted.
Friday, Dec. 15, 2000
READING THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT'S OPINION
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden analyzes the Florida Supreme Court's Friday opinion, which requires manual recounts of "undervotes" that could extend statewide, and which will be the subject of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument. She outlines a number of respects in which the opinion diverges from traditional appellate court decision making, and explains why the Florida opinion, from a lawyer's perspective, is an unusual one.
Monday, Dec. 11, 2000
BATTLE OVER ELECTION SPIN
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden explains why the portrayal of Gore as a sore loser in the days since the election has been to some extent unfair. However, she contends that Gore has made some decisions that play into this portrayal and suggests a way for the vice president to reverse this spin, with the help of President Clinton.
Monday, Nov. 27, 2000
Attorney and FindLaw Columnist Julie Hilden reflects on Al Gore's candid admission, during the first Presidential debate, that judicial nominees' records as lower court judges can help Presidents predict how they will vote on the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, Oct. 04, 2000
THE MEANING OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM
FindLaw columnist, author, and former Supreme Court clerk Edward Lazarus considers what the charge of "judicial activism" really means; offers a distinction between good and bad kinds of activism; and suggests how the U.S. Supreme Court, in resolving the issues argued Monday, can avoid the bad type of activism that may delegitimize the Court as an institution.
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2000
WHAT THE U.S. SUPREME COURT'S OPINION MEANS
FindLaw columnist, former Supreme Clerk, and author Edward Lazarus explains the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's Monday decision regarding the Florida Supreme Court's extension of the manual recount deadline. Lazarus concludes that the Florida court may, if it chooses, re-issue a decision that would achieve the same result through different analysis, and suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court's wise ruling is an act of statesmanship that will bolster its institutional status.
Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2000
WHY THE SUPREME COURT CHOSE TO HEAR GEORGE W. BUSH'S CASE
FindLaw columnist, former Supreme Court clerk, and Closed Chambers author Edward Lazarus considers two possible reasons for the Supreme Court's decision to hear George W. Bush's challenge to the Florida Supreme Court's ruling this Friday, and reflects on whether the Court will use the case to foster unity (perhaps with a unanimous decision) or sow division.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000
A NEW ANALOGY FOR THE CURRENT ELECTION PREDICAMENT
Many pundits have suggested the best analogy for the current election debacle can be found in other Presidential elections held in the 19th century. But FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus has a different take: the election, Lazarus contends, is best analogized to the O.J. Simpson murder trial, for both have revealed our society's deepest rifts.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2000
IF ANYONE SHOULD CONCEDE, IT SHOULD BE BUSH, NOT GORE
Attorney, author, and FindLaw columnist Edward Lazarus takes the Bush campaign to task for pushing for a Gore concession. Lazarus argues that if anyone should concede, it should be Bush, who lost the popular vote nationally and may win it in Florida by luck alone.
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2000
FindLaw columnist and legal Author Edward Lazarus reflects on how the media has chosen to focus more on who may have "leaked" the news of George W. Bush's DUI arrest, rather than the fact that he was convicted at all. Lazarus also assesses Bush's reasons for keeping his conviction a secret - until now.
Saturday, Nov. 04, 2000
A former Supreme Court clerk addresses the conventional wisdom that the next presidential election will transform the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, Aug. 08, 2000
ELECTION LESSONS FROM ABROAD
What can America learn from criticism of our election in foreign media, and from international organizations that aim to improve elections worldwide? A great deal, it turns out. FindLaw columnist, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director, and attorney Joanne Mariner explains several respects in which U.S. elections, in Florida and nationally, fall woefully short of international standards.
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000
FindLaw columnist and Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Joanne Mariner discusses the almost half a million voters who were barred from the polls in Florida, as a result of a state law that imposes lifetime disenfranchisement onpersons convicted of a felony. Mariner argues that, among its other defects,the law is racially discriminatory: Nearly one-third of African American men in Florida were barred from casting their vote because they had committed a felony at some point in the past.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000