Perhaps no event shows the power that the United States Supreme Court has than during the 2000 presidential election. Right after the public thought that who would be president had been resolved, the Court to come in to decide who had won actually won the role.

On election night of 2000 many people went to bed thinking that Al Gore had won, only to find out George W. Bush had been declared president. Several states could have been the cause of this, but in the end it was decided that it was Florida, where Bush’s brother was governor.

The Supreme Court actually intervened three times, the last two of which are known as Bush versus Gore. In the first case, the Court hoped to end the election crisis by stopping Florida’s decision to extend the vote past the amount of time set by state law. However, by the time they acted on December 1, the certification had already occurred.

A week later, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide recount of ballots. The Florida justices were split 4-3, granted the ability to review the Bush Versus Gore act. The day after the Florida Supreme Court had ordered a recount, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary delay in enforcing the order.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices were also narrowly divided, at the number of 5-4. The first hearing of Bush v. Gore telegraphed to the nation what would happen if the Court took further action in the case. However, just a few days afterward, the supreme court acted again.

The Court explained that it had voted 5-4 to put a stop to the Florida recount, and that allowing the recount to go forward would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The presidential election of 2000 had, essentially, just been decided by the vote of one Supreme Court member.

Needless to say, the supporters of George W. Bush were more than happy, however Al Gore supporters were incensed. Many people were simply happy to have things settled. However, that 5-4 vote suggested that the presidential election was a political decision, and not a judicial one.

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