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Jewish World Review Dec. 7, 2000 / 11 Kislev, 5761

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
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National Lampoon's Florida Supreme Court Vacation -- DESPITE morale-boosting claims in the mainstream media that the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling didn't really do anything -- or, as Al Gore put it ("Twilight Zone" theme music here), was "neutral," perhaps even "favorable" -- the opinion kicked the air out of the Supreme Court of Florida (SCOFLA).

For one thing, the Supreme Court vacated the SCOFLA's silly ruling. It didn't have to do that. The court could have remanded with instructions without vacating. The court could have declined to review the decision altogether -- as scores of legal "experts" swore up and down it would.

Not least of all, the court could have affirmed the opinion as a proper exercise of the SCOFLA's judicial powers. To quote Florida's learned state Sen. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her enlightening appearance on CNN's "Crossfire," it could have sneered: "(T)here is something called the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. And the judicial branch -- unfortunately, Gov. Bush doesn't realize this -- but the judicial branch interprets the laws."

The U.S. Supreme Court apparently didn't realize this either: It vacated that genius exercise of "separation of powers and the system of checks and balances" as practiced by the SCOFLA. And it helpfully recited the Constitution and federal law as little signposts the SCOFLA might want to consider next time.

Though the Supreme Court repeatedly invoked the deference normally accorded state courts, it invariably followed those touching professions of respect with the word "but."

After one such irrelevant tribute to the nobility of state courts, the Supreme Court said, for example: "But in the case of a law enacted by a state legislature applicable not only to elections to state offices, but also to the selection of presidential electors, the legislature is not acting solely under the authority given it by the people of the state, but by virtue of a direct grant of authority made under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution."

Get it? You're not Czar of the Universe anymore, SCOFLA. A presidential election is a federal issue, a matter committed to the state legislatures by the U.S. Constitution -- and if you try to usurp the role of the legislature, the real Supreme Court is ready to reverse you.

It's going to be an adjustment. Back during the halcyon days when it seemed immune from review, SCOFLA's hearing in this case resembled nothing so much as a Soviet show trial. One of the "justices" impertinently demanded of Bush's attorney: "What are the laws in Texas, Mr. Carvin?"

What do you say to that? She may as well have asked the lawyer if he didn't think "19" was a prettier word than "seven."

For those of you who know absolutely nothing about the law -- well, first of all, you ought to move to Florida and wait to be tapped for its supreme court. But as a legal point, the election laws of other states have no bearing on the laws of Florida. None whatsoever. The election laws of Uganda have as binding a legal effect in Florida as the laws of Texas.

In "interpreting" the Florida election code so as to impose a 19-day deadline where the actual law had required a seven-day deadline, the kangaroo court may as well have declared war on Canada. And the real Supreme Court most likely would have issued a similar ruling: "As a general rule, this court defers to a state court's interpretation" of the law -- but not if the state court declares war on Canada. See, e.g., the Constitution.

Most amusingly, the U.S. Supreme Court professed confusion over the SCOFLA's ruling -- the one it went ahead and vacated just to be on the safe side. Not to put too fine a point on it, but these guys understand the Law of Perpetuities. Turgidity is their life's work. But they didn't understand the SCOFLA's opinion? Oh, OK.

While claiming total befuddlement, the Supreme Court indicated that it sure hoped the court hadn't ignored the Constitution and federal law! This is how parents discipline small children: I sure hope no one's reading under her covers after bedtime! The face-saving directive was clear to all but the willfully blind.

Of course, the SCOFLA found the meaning of the word "seven" to be an impenetrable mystery, so there's no assurance that subtlety will work with these guys. But there is one entity for whom we can be pretty sure the Supreme Court's ruling will not be a devilish puzzle -- the Florida Legislature.

As the Supreme Court reminded the world, the Constitution provides that states "shall appoint" presidential electors "in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct." So knock yourself out in Seminole County. Exclude votes from the military, taxpayers, all registered Republicans. The Florida Legislature has the last word.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


12/04/00: It's past time for GOPers to quit being good at losing
11/30/00: Things only a Dem will say with a straight face
11/27/00: Certify the electors, then the judges
11/23/00: Kangaroo coup
11/20/00: This is what the Electoral College is supposed to prevent
11/16/00: The liar next time
11/09/00: JUST GO!
11/06/00: Hail Mary past
11/02/00: As the nose grows: The scripture according to Gore
10/30/00: Clinton sure can pick 'em
10/26/00: Gore's 'Nam flashbacks
10/23/00: Courting George Orwell
10/20/00: The three faces of Al
10/17/00: Must Christian conservatives be fascists?
10/13/00: Oil good; Dems bad
10/10/00: Al Gore: Serial fibber
10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
10/03/00: So who's the 'dumb guy' now?
09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
09/22/00: Democrats worship the money shot
09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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