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The Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election Paperback – July 5, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0226294087 ISBN-10: 0226294080 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226294080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226294087
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

University of Southern California political science professor Gillman (The Constitution Besieged) provides a compact examination followed by careful analysis of the major court actions in the contested aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. His analysis gives equal time to expectations of the moment as well as the longer, more stable perspective of the law, with attention to legal briefs, oral arguments, commentary and final decisions. This close attention to texts of all sides minimizes partisan rationalizations and political spin that filled the media at the time. Each chapter covers a different level of the judicial process, from the first 10 days of initial recount efforts, the first Florida Supreme Court case and the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention to Judge N. Sanders Sauls's trial court, the Florida Supreme Court again and the U.S. Supreme Court's stay and final decision. Significant side suits are covered chronologically, most notably those challenging absentee ballot irregularities and federal cases heard by the 11th Circuit C0urt of Appeals. The final chapter employs a clear, consistent framework to assess the integrity of the judges and justices. Gillman shows that the three unanimous decisions against Gore by the Florida Supreme Court followed established precedent and ruled consistently to include all plausible votes; meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court majority's decision emerges from this careful examination as arbitrary, capricious and partisan. Gillman's developmental framework should provide an valuable comparison with more argumentative books.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The idea of the judiciary as an impartial guardian of the law receives substantial criticism in Gillman's analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision, which resolved the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Gillman (political science, Univ. of Southern California), the author of several award-winning books on the U.S. Constitution, such as The Constitution Besieged, carefully explains how both Florida state court judges and federal judges fundamentally shaped the postelection dispute through law and judicial politics. Gillman finds that some forms of judicial politics had the illegitimate influence of partisan favoritism, while others were acceptable, although controversial, forms of judicial authority. Gillman's excellent analysis carefully examines the nature of U.S. judicial institutions within a democratic framework and raises the question whether the Bush v. Gore decision will have lasting effects on the reputation and authority of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida courts. This highly recommended book will help citizens understand key implications of this case and will be a welcome addition to all public and academic libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A definitive, even handed analysis of the judges and the court decisions arising out of the Florida disputed election. While Gillman devotes specific chapters to each of the two Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, he does not ignore the lower court decisions in these case or the litigation on other challenges to the election outcome. Gillman is ultimately critical of the US Supreme Court decision, but he provides equal time to the Court's defenders and his criticism is both scholarly and dispassionate. Unlike other critics of the Court, including this reviewer, who think the Court did irreparable damage to itself and its reputations, Gillman concludes, and provides evidence to support his conclusion, that the decision has not and will not undercut the public's reverence for the Court's as the Nation's most trusted and respected institution.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eric Hobart VINE VOICE on May 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, The Votes that Counted, Howard Gillman does a masterful job of reporting the facts that led up to the dispute, and the chronology of events during the aftermath of the Presidential Election in November, 2000.
Naturally, Gillman focuses on Florida, which was the state of most interest in the election, since its electoral votes would ultimately determine who would reside in the White House.
Gillman is, in my opinion, biased, with an evident fondness of the Democratic Party. There is, of course, nothing wrong with being opiniated, and Gillman does not let this interfere with his reporting of the evident facts.
Gillman's analysis of the election and the subsequent judicial participation is a good one, and certainly does correlate well with the title of the book; he explains well why he feels that the justices of the Supreme Court (all five of them that sided with Bush) determined who the next President of the United States would be.
As I was reading this book, I frequently found that I had to stop and re-read some sentences multiple times in order to understand the meaning; verbs were conjugated improperly, and improper tenses were used. I do not fault the author for these grammatical errors - I fault the editor for failing to catch and correct them.
I found this to be a valuable book, and one worthy of studying carefully as study of the Presidental election of 2000 and judicial intervention in that contest. I gave it four stars rather than five because of what I see as a lack of strong editing.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is careful, thoughtful, wonderfully written and, as compared with some other works on the topic, is non-polemical. A must-read for anyone interested in the 2000 election controversy or anyone with an interest in the role of the courts in our system of government.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pen ID on July 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
the outcome of 2000 election and how America got there. The book chronologically relives the legal battles in courts by pro-Bush and pro-Gore forcs culminating with a 5-4 Supreme Court rulings overturning Florida's Supreme Court. Well written and well researched. If after reading the book you are still sincerely convinced that Bush v. Gore (I) and (II) were legally sound decisions, I would recommend another book: "The Attitudial Model (Revised)" by Segal and Spaeth.
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