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By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 9, 2000
WASHINGTON - Florida's Supreme Court majority - in control by the thinnest margin - staked out a broad claim of state judicial power yesterday and daringly ran the risk that the U.S. Supreme Court would take it away. It never addressed the nation's highest court by name. And, keeping up its mood of civility within its own ranks, the majority chose not to engage in a debate with its chief justice, who in dissent warned darkly of a "constitutional crisis." But the four-justice majority nonetheless sent a clear signal that it was standing firmly on a constitutional principle that runs back to the nation's founding: that the states are sovereign in dealing with their own residents and their own laws, and they will resist affronts to that sovereignty.
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NEWS
By Charles F. Chester | September 24, 2006
When I went to vote on Sept. 12 at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, the computer accessing my voter registration crashed. Then, when I was moved to the next station, the computerized database indicated I had already voted - probably the result of the first attempt to access my registration. It could have been worse. Fortunately, because at least one of the election officials had witnessed this fiasco, they allowed me to vote, and I proceeded to cast a ballot - for myself. Yes, I was a candidate for the House of Delegates from District 16, and so had a more vested interest than most in the proceedings.
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NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 5, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - It's a double-header of presidential importance. Vice President Al Gore has turned to the Florida Supreme Court to save his White House bid. Hours earlier, the state's highest court heard from the highest court in the land. It, too, wanted the Florida court's ear on the presidential election contest. The biggest political dogfight of the century has landed on its steps again, and the Florida Supreme Court is poised to act. Yesterday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court asked the seven justices to clarify their legal reasons for deciding Nov. 21 that Secretary of State Katherine Harris had overstepped her authority when she excluded manual recounts in an initial state certification.
NEWS
By JON BURSTEIN and JON BURSTEIN,SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL | July 7, 2006
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Florida Supreme Court tossed out a $145 billion verdict against the country's five largest tobacco companies yesterday, finding the amount awarded by a Miami jury to smokers was excessive. Believed to be the largest punitive-damage award in American legal history, the July 2000 verdict in the statewide class-action lawsuit sent shock waves through the tobacco industry and was hailed as a landmark by opponents of smoking. Three years later, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami rejected the verdict in a harshly worded decision, gutting the jury's findings and condemning the court proceedings as "fundamentally unfair."
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | May 13, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Shares of Altria Group Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. fell yesterday after the Florida Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court's voiding of a $145 billion punitive damage award against U.S. cigarette makers. The court will review an appellate ruling last year that the lawsuit had been improperly filed as a class action and that the amount of punitive damages was excessive to the point of bankrupting the companies. The Florida case was the first tobacco lawsuit in the nation to be granted class action status and resulted in the largest punitive damage award in U.S. history.
NEWS
By THE SUN WASHINGTON BUREAU | December 11, 2000
In dueling 50-page legal briefs, the Bush and Gore campaigns made their final written pleas yesterday, seeking to shape a final U.S. Supreme Court decision. The Bush team's goal was to persuade the justices to cast aside a Florida Supreme Court decision requiring new vote-counting. Doing so would restore his certified victory. The Gore side's goal was to persuade the justices to leave the state court decision intact, letting the recounts by hand go on in hopes of helping him overtake Bush.
NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 11, 2000
Minutes before he appeared before the Florida Supreme Court to halt George W. Bush's march on the presidency, David Boies got a call on his cell phone. It was Vice President Al Gore. Boies assured his client, "The law is on our side." It was. And then apparently it wasn't. If the presidential race in Florida has been anything, it has been one topsy-turvy turn of the law after the other. The latest chapter in the legal wrangling over the Florida vote count is another example. A divided U.S. Supreme Court cut short a manual recount of about 43,000 Florida ballots that had been ordered by an equally divided Florida Supreme Court.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 6, 2000
WASHINGTON - Al Gore's running mate appeared to signal yesterday that the presidential election fight could be over in the next few days, though Gore himself wouldn't say that he's thinking about conceding. One top Gore adviser insisted that the vice president has not devised an exit strategy, though he acknowledged that a concession statement could come quickly if the Florida Supreme Court rules against him. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, during a daylong series of meetings with fellow Democrats at the Capitol, said repeatedly that the judgment of Florida's highest court would be the last word on Gore's effort to contest George W. Bush's victory in the state.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 5, 2000
WASHINGTON - In the four weeks since the election, Al Gore's worst enemy hasn't been ballot questions. (Are dimples votes?) Nor has it been the impressive legal and public relations front thrown up by George W. Bush. Gore's greatest nemesis has been time, slipping away steadily and taking his fading presidential hopes with it. A pair of legal decisions yesterday - from Florida Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls and the U.S. Supreme Court - stripped more precious days from Gore's dwindling calendar and pushed the vice president's candidacy to the brink of defeat.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | April 4, 2001
MIAMI - President Bush's victory in Florida, which gave him the White House, almost certainly would have endured even if a manual ballot recount stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court had been allowed to go forward. In fact, a comprehensive review of 64,248 ballots in all 67 Florida counties by the Miami Herald; its parent company, Knight Ridder; and USA Today found that the 537-vote margin of Bush, a Republican, would have increased to 1,665 votes under the counting standards advocated by supporters of Democrat Al Gore.
NEWS
June 15, 2006
In April, while Maryland's Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on what constitutes reckless endangerment of a fetus, four groups of college students wanted to sit in on the proceedings. The red-carpeted courtroom, with historic wood paneling and comfortable leather chairs for the seven judges, symbolizes the administration of justice. But for most Marylanders, the court is truly symbolic: It has only about 90 seats, so the number of people who can witness live proceedings is necessarily limited.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | May 13, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Shares of Altria Group Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. fell yesterday after the Florida Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court's voiding of a $145 billion punitive damage award against U.S. cigarette makers. The court will review an appellate ruling last year that the lawsuit had been improperly filed as a class action and that the amount of punitive damages was excessive to the point of bankrupting the companies. The Florida case was the first tobacco lawsuit in the nation to be granted class action status and resulted in the largest punitive damage award in U.S. history.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | April 4, 2001
MIAMI - President Bush's victory in Florida, which gave him the White House, almost certainly would have endured even if a manual ballot recount stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court had been allowed to go forward. In fact, a comprehensive review of 64,248 ballots in all 67 Florida counties by the Miami Herald; its parent company, Knight Ridder; and USA Today found that the 537-vote margin of Bush, a Republican, would have increased to 1,665 votes under the counting standards advocated by supporters of Democrat Al Gore.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover | December 14, 2000
WASHINGTON -- In the end, for all the legalistic legerdemain, a conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court may not have elected George W. Bush president, but it certainly anointed him. Its artful, unsigned ruling to "remand" the vote recount controversy to the Florida justices who tried to give Al Gore one last shot to prove he won was a weakly transparent effort at avoiding the appearance of finality -- while assuring it by providing neither the...
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock and Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 13, 2000
WASHINGTON - Democratic and Republican lawmakers grappled with the complex and confusing Supreme Court decision last night but most came to the same conclusion: The end is near for Al Gore's presidential hopes. The high court, in a 5-4 decision, sent the case back to the Florida Supreme Court but effectively told the court there was no time to come up with a new and uniform standard for a recount. A majority of the court said in an opinion released about 10 p.m. that Dec. 12, yesterday, was the date for electors to be chosen, brushing aside the insistence of a dissenting justice that Florida should at least be given the chance to complete a new recount by Dec. 18. That's the date electors from the states cast their ballots for president and vice president.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 13, 2000
WASHINGTON - One vote counts. That has been the theme, the background music playing underneath the incredible five-week saga that effectively concluded last night when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush. The decision by a profoundly divided court will probably go down in history for resolving the presidential election by the smallest possible margin: a single vote. But their 5-4 ruling against a Florida recount should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying the least attention to events since Nov. 7. The power of one vote has been the message of the 2000 election.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock and Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 9, 2000
WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats rejoiced at the close Florida Supreme Court decision that breathed new life into Vice President Al Gore's hope for the White House, saying it would allow for an accurate vote count in the bitterly contested state. Republican lawmakers sharply criticized the 4-3 decision, one of them terming it "judicial aggression" that was designed to "manipulate a free and fair election." Others expressed concern about whether a "subjective" hand count of ballots - with "dimpled" and "pregnant" chads - could accurately determine the next president of the United States.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 25, 2000
WASHINGTON - In a stunning, history-shaping order, the U.S. Supreme Court assigned itself a potentially decisive role in settling the nation's presidential election as it agreed yesterday to rule on an appeal by Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Merely by taking on the case, when almost no one - including Bush's lawyers - expected it to do so, the court presented Vice President Al Gore with a serious but perhaps not decisive setback. The court laid out a schedule that leads to a 90-minute hearing Friday morning.
NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 13, 2000
TALLAHASSEE - As the nation waited for word from the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court handed George W. Bush a double victory, ruling that nearly 25,000 absentee ballots would not be tossed out, despite irregularities in the handling of the ballot applications. By a vote of 6-0 in both cases, Florida's highest court affirmed the decisions of two state circuit courts, which decided Friday that the ballots were valid even though Republican Party workers had altered information on the ballot applications.
NEWS
December 13, 2000
Per Curiam (By the Court) On December 8, 2000, the Supreme Court of Florida ordered that the Circuit Court of Leon County tabulate by hand 9,000 ballots in Miami-Dade County. It also ordered the inclusion in the certified vote totals of 215 votes identified in Palm Beach County and 168 votes identified in Miami-Dade County for Vice President Albert Gore Jr. and Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democratic Candidates for President and Vice President. The Supreme Court noted that petitioner, Governor George W. Bush, asserted that the net gain for Vice President Gore in Palm Beach County was 176 votes, and directed the Circuit Court to resolve that dispute on remand.
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