Kagan Dodges Question on Bush v. Gore

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

A few minutes ago, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan avoided giving her opinion on the Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore, the case that effectively decided the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.

“It is an important question and a difficult question about how an election contest that at least arguably the political branches can’t find a way to resolve themselves, what should happen,” she said.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) had asked Kagan to say whether she felt the Court decided the case correctly. Kagan said she disagreed with Kohl’s assertion that a similar case would never come before the Court again.

“If it did, I would try to consider it in an appropriate way,” she said.

In Bush v. Gore, the Court ruled 5-4 that the state of Florida needed to cease its recount of ballots because it was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The Court’s decision meant George W. Bush officially won the state by 543 votes.

Kagan wrote in notes for a 2003 speech that the Court’s decision was a prime example of politics affecting the judicial process, claiming it was “only the tip of the iceberg.”

Updated at 11:20 a.m.

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