Bush v. Gore

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Florida recount dispute during the 2000 presidential election

Bush v. Gore was a United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling from December 11, 2000 that stopped Florida's manual recount because different Florida counties had different rules for deciding what should count as a valid vote.[1] SCOTUS also disliked the fact that the Florida recount was limited to undervotes (rather than having all of Florida's ballots be manually recounted) and said that there was no time for a new recount in Florida since Florida's Supreme Court said that the Florida state legislature wanted Florida to take advantage of the "safe harbor" deadline on December 12, 2000.[1]

In Bush v. Gore, seven Justices (everyone other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens) agreed that there were Equal Protection problems with Florida's recount, five Justices (everyone other than Ginsburg, Stevens, David Souter, and Stephen Breyer) said that there was no time for a new Florida recount, and three Justices (Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas) went a step further than this by saying that in addition to violating the Equal Protection Clause, Florida's Supreme Court also violated Article II of the United States Constitution by changing Florida's election laws.[1]

SCOTUS's Bush v. Gore ruling got a lot of criticism but was also defended in a long 2001 law review article by George Mason University law professor Nelson Lund.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)". Justia Law.
  2. https://www.law.gmu.edu/assets/files/publications/working_papers/01-17.pdf