"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the high court did not inject itself into the 2000 presidential election.Let's take a trip down memory lane.
Speaking at the Time Warner Center last night, Scalia said: 'The election was dragged into the courts by the Gore people. We did not go looking for trouble.'"
First of all, the Gore people took the election problems into the courts because the state official in charge of the election -- the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign named Katherine Harris -- refused their state-sanctioned request for a manual recount. To characterize this as some kind of reckless, wild-eyed lawsuit is insane. (Especially since, as TPM reminds us, the most thorough recount analysis showed that Gore would, in fact, have won the state if he'd pressed for a complete statewide recount.)
Second, the case only leapt from the state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court because the Bush campaign appealed the decision of the Florida Supreme Court. For all of Bush's constant complaining about runaway lawsuits and federal appeals, he surely leapt at the chance to get his own complaints before the High Court. How Scalia can lay this at the feet of the Gore camp is beyond me. (It's called "Bush v. Gore" for a reason, Tony. Bush was the plaintiff, and therefore his name gets to come first.)
Third, the Supreme Court didn't have to take the case. Despite all the pundits' claims that there was a "constitutional crisis" going on with the recount, there wasn't anything of the sort. The Constitution has a specific means of resolution for a contested election, and the path to resolving it goes through Congress, and not the Supreme Court. You think someone who claims to defend the original meaning of the Constitution would understand that. Moreover, Scalia had long been at the forefront of arguing against federal interference in state affairs, especially in the realm of voting. Yet another "principle" that he quickly abandoned in the rush to hand the election to Bush.
I know the 2000 election is old news, and the insanity of Antonin Scalia is even older. But I still can't help getting mad.