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.
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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.
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