Scalia: Gore to blame for 2000 decision
Stephen C. Webster
Published: Thursday June 26, 2008

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has claimed, in a recent interview with the UK newspaper Telegraph, that then Vice President Al Gore was to blame for George W. Bush being declared the victor of the 2000 presidential election.

"Richard Nixon, when he lost to Kennedy thought that the election had been stolen in Chicago, which was very likely true with the system at the time," said Scalia. "But he did not even think about bringing a court challenge. That was his prerogative. So you know if you don't like it, don't blame it on me.

"I didn't bring it into the courts. Mr Gore brought it into the courts," he continued. "So if you don't like the courts getting involved talk to Mr Gore."

The first state court case in Florida was filed by Palm Beach County voters who felt they were disenfranchised by the infamous butterfly ballot design. It was the Bush Cheney campaign who first took the case to federal court, filing a federal lawsuit on Nov. 11, 2000. A complete timeline of the Florida fiasco is available here.

Recently, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean claimed the 2000 election was stolen by 'five intellectually bankrupt judges.' Scalia, on the other hand, argued that if a critic wanted "to look for partisan decisions," the Florida supreme court's ruling on the 2000 elections would be a prime candidate.

Scalia continued, claiming that 'of course' he regretted the Supreme Court becoming involved with the 2000 presidential election. "But I don't know how we could have avoided it," he said. "Could we have declined to accept the case on the basis that it wasn't important enough? ... I think our decision in the case was absolutely right. But if you ask me 'Am I sorry it all happened?' Of course I am sorry it happened, there was no way that we were going to come out of it smelling like a rose."