Tags: Ruling | Forces | Wait | Until | Monday

Ruling Forces Wait Until Monday

Friday, 17 November 2000 12:00 AM

The state's high court enjoined a final certification for this weekend, which would also include tallies from overseas absentee ballots received between Election Day and midnight Friday, Nov. 17., until an order so allows.

Early counts of these ballots show a solid Bush lead in several of the state's 67 counties tabulating votes beginning early Friday evening.

Earlier on Friday, in a stunning decision, Florida Judge Terry Lewis, a Democrat, ruled that Secretary of State Katherine Harris acted within the scope of her authority as chief election official to exclude the hand-counted ballots not submitted by the statutory deadline.

By affirming that Harris acted in a reasoned manner, within her authority and in accordance with the explicit language contained in the state's election law, the judge handed a major blow to efforts by the camp of Vice President Al Gore to reinvent the election in Florida.

Such a ruling is a tremedous vindication for the much-maligned Florida secretary of state, who has been harshly, brutally and personally attacked by such Team Gore cohorts as Warren Christopher, Bill Daley, Alan Dershowitz, Geraldo Rivera, Paul Begala, Jesse Jackson, Mark Fabiani, Chris Lehane, Donna Brazile, Bob Wexler, Peter Deutsch and countless others, including – as usual – the left-wing chorus in the mainstream media.

So much for Gore's absurdly hypocritical exhortation, in his speech Wednesday night, that

Who was he trying to fool?

It was, and remains, the Gore partisans whose arsenal has continually been laced with venom and invective.

That's all they know. But it increasingly seems that Americans know better and have consistently so expressed themselves in numerous public surveys.

The legal front from here is rather predictable.

Today's ruling was immediately appealed by Junior Gore – surprise, surprise – on an expedited basis to the Florida Supreme Court, which ordinarily would not take an appeal directly from a trial court. However, given the pressing nature of this case, the state's high court granted leave to hear the appeal.

It's painfully obvious that Gore has been furiously attempting to 'manufacture' enough 'newly found' votes to at least create the appearance of having garnered more total votes than Bush.

In the latest perversion of the process, Gore's agents on the Democrat Palm Beach County elections board have just today rejected a 10-year-old policy of not counting ballot cards where a hole has not been clearly punched through.

Sounds desperate and pathetic, but not in the least bit surprising.

A hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday is the next step in this extraordinary process.

The legal hurdle for the state Supreme Court is a high one; in fact, three distinct issues need be considered in Gore's favor in order for the Democrat to succeed: 1) The trial court's ruling supporting the secretary of state's decision must be overturned; 2) The decision itself by the Secretary of State needs to be reversed; and 3) The Florida election law statute would have to be ignored or struck down.

However, all seven of the justices were appointed by Democrat governors and the court has a reputation as an activist, liberal body.

It is anybody's guess what the court will decide, though the law and the lower court clearly and strongly support the Bush position.

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Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly. E-mail Dan:

• Nov. 20, 9 a.m. – KJSL radio in St. Louis, Mo.

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The state's high court enjoined a final certification for this weekend, which would also include tallies from overseas absentee ballots received between Election Day and midnight Friday, Nov. 17., until an order so allows. Early counts of these ballots show a solid Bush...
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Friday, 17 November 2000 12:00 AM
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