2000 Election December 12, 2000 Florida Supreme Court Decision CNN

2000 Election December 12, 2000 Florida Supreme Court Decision CNN


NATALIE: WE WANT TO SHOW YOU THAT THE SINGING — SCENES AND THE CROWDS OF REPORTERS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND OTHERS THAT ARE GATHERED RIGHT THERE, THAT’S WHERE THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE COURT WILL BE WALKING OUT TO READ THE DECISION BY JUSTICE MARTIN AND CLARK AND AS SOON AS THAT HAPPENS WE WILL BRING YOU THE LIVE PICTURE AND CARRY IT FOR YOU AND, OF COURSE, WE’LL HAVE MANY TO TALK WITH ONCE THAT IS READ TO TALK ABOUT THE OUTCOME. RIGHT NOW, THOUGH AS THE POLITICAL AND LEGAL WARS RAGE IN FLORIDA AL GORE IS OUT OF HIS WHITE HOUSE OFFICE TODAY. HOW MUCH WORK GETTING DONE AS VICE PRESIDENT. LET’S ASK PATTY DAVIS ABOUT THAT OR WHETHER STANDING BY WATCHING TELEVISION AS WELL. PATTY?>>ACTUALLY HE’S DONE WORKING NOW AT WHITE HOUSE OFFICE. HE IS — WE ARE TOLD HEADED BACK TO THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE HERE IN WASHINGTON JUST ABOUT 20-30-MINUTE DRIVE FROM DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON. HE IS, OF COURSE CLOSELY WATCHING ALL OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN FLORIDA. THIS SEMINOLE COUNTY AND MARTIN COUNTY CASE THAT FOR CAMPAIGN HAS SAID TAKING PAINS TO POINT OUT THEY ARE NOT PART OF EITHER OF THE CASES CERTAINLY THE VICE PRESIDENT COULD BENEFIT FROM POSITIVE RULING IN BOTH OF THESE CASES. GOING HIS WAY. HOWEVER, THE REALLY BIG CASE THEY ARE WATCHING THAT THEY ARE STILL VERY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT, IS THIS CONTEST ACTION, THE APPEAL OF GORE’S CONTEST ACTION IN THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT. THE GORE CAMPAIGN HAD SAID THAT THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT WILL BE THE FINAL DECISIVE FACTOR IN THIS CASE. IN TERMS OF THE CONTEST THAT IT WILL NOT GO AHEAD AND APPEAL THAT TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, SO MUCH MORE FOCUS BEING PLACED ON THAT CASE THAN THE SEMINOLE AND MARTIN CASES. ALTHOUGH THOSE COUNTY CASES COULD SLERN — CERTAINLY HELP HIM IF THEY GO IN HIS FAVOR. NATALIE: PATTY DAVIS WE WILL TALK WITH YOU IN A MOMENT. ONCE WE LEARN THE OUTCOME. AGAIN, EXPECTED IN ABOUT 4 MINUTES IF THEY’RE ON SCHEDULE THIS TIME. THIS OF COURSE HAS BEEN DELAYED FROM 12:30 TODAY. WE EXPECT IT TO HAPPEN IN A MATTER OF MINUTES. TEXAS GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH WORKING AT HIS OFFICE IN THE STATE CAPITOL WHERE EARLIER TODAY EXPRESSED OPTIMISM. THE LATEST NOW FROM JEANNE MESERVE IN AUSTIN. JEANNE? JEANNE: THE BUSH CAMPAIGN WELL AWARE OF IMPLICATIONS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COURT DECISIONS DOWN IN FLORIDA. BUSH LAWYERS ALREADY SAID THAT WOULD APPEAL THE SEMINOLE AND MARTIN COUNTY ABSENTEE BALLOT CASES IF THOSE SHOULD GO AGAINST THEM. BUT TODAY GOVERNOR BUSH WAS ASKED ABOUT THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT CASE CONCERNING THE BALLOTS IN DADE AND PALM BEACH COUNTIES HE SAID IF THAT DECISION GOES AGAINST HIM, HE WILL APPEAL THAT. HE HOPES IT DOESN’T COME TO THAT, BUT HE WOULD APPEAL IF THAT’S NECESSARY. ALSO ASKED IF ALL THREE CASES GO AGAINST ONE CANDIDATE OR THE OTHER, SHOULD THE LOSER CONCEDE. HERE’S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.>>IT’S — EACH CANDIDATE WILL HAVE TO DECIDE TO MAKE THE DECISION THAT’S BEST FOR THE COUNTRY, AND I CAN — THE ONLY THING I CAN TELL YOU HOW I THINK. YOU HAVE TO ASK THE VICE PRESIDENT HOW HE THINKS. DEPENDING ON THE OUTCOME OF THE COURTS. JEANNE: ALTHOUGH GOVERNOR BUSH SPOKE WITH JAMES BAKER POINT MAN ON FLORIDA TODAY ABOUT THE LEGAL MANEUVERING MOST ATTENTION ONCE AGAIN DEVOTED TO TRANSITION AT THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION TODAY HE MET WITH DESIGNATED WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STOP — STAFF ANDY CARD AND ANDY CARD AND KAREN HUGHES. BUSH SAID HE WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY CONDUCTING FORMAL INTERVIEWS FOR CABINET POSITIONS WHILE THE ELECTION REMAINS UNSETTLED BUT EXPRESSED THE HOPE WE’RE REACHING A POINT OF FINALITY. NATALIE BACK TO YOU. NATALIE: WE KNOW THAT YESTERDAY DAVID BOIES GOT A CALL FROM AL GORE WISHING HIM LUCK BEFORE HE WENT BEFORE STATE SUPREME COURT. HAS GEORGE W. BUSH BEEN THAT CONNECTED WITH HIS LAWYERS IN FLORIDA?>>NATALIE, I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION. KNOW HE HAS CONFERENCE CALL EVERY DAY WITH BAKER. KNOW AT ONE POINT CALLED LAWYERS IN FLORIDA TO CONGRATULATE ABOUT ONE COURT PERFORMANCE DON’T KNOW IF HE’S SPOKEN TO ANYONE IN THE LAST 24. NATALIE: NOW TO STEPHEN. STEPHEN: NATALIE LET’S TAKE ONE MORE LOOK AT THE SCENE INSIDE THE LEON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURTHOUSE. THERE ARE THE JOURNALIST HANGING AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES HOPING FOR ANNOUNCEMENT YOU CAN’T SEE BECAUSE NEAR CROWD. GARY TUCHMAN WORKING RATHER THAN STANDING AROUND CONFRONTING EVERY PRINCIPLE TO THIS CASE HE CAN. INCLUDING JUDGE TERRY LEWIS. LET’S FIND OUT IF HE LEARNED ANYTHING SINCE THEN.>>WE’RE WITH ANOTHER CROWD ON THE THIRD FLOOR OF SAME BUILDING ATTORNEYS FROM ALL SIDES MEETING AND ARE FINDING AS WE SPEAK THE DECISIONS IN BOTH THESE CASES. WE EXPECT THEM AT ANY MINUTE TO COME OUTSIDE THE DOORS WE EXPECT TO FIND OUT SOON THE DECISIONS IN THE SEMINOLE COUNTY CASE AND THE MARTIN COUNTY CASE AS WE SPEAK TO YOU THEY ARE NOW LEARNING THE DECISIONS THEMSELVES GIVEN THE CURTESY TO FIND OUT WHETHER THE REST OF THE WORLD FINDS OUT. STEPHEN: THAT’S THE CURTESY FOR THEM. ARE THEY BOUND TO KEEP THAT INFORMATION QUIET OR COULD THEY SHARE IT WITH YOU, FOR EXAMPLE, BEFORE ANYONE APPROACHES THE LECTERN UPSTAIRS?>>NOT IF WE CAN HELP IT. I CAN TELL YOU THAT MUCH. I’M ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE THERE WILL BE NO PROMISE MADE TO ANYBODY INSIDE THAT THEY CAN’T TELL PEOPLE WHEN THEY COME OUT. SO MANY IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP THAT PROMISE. WE WILL HAVE A GOOD IDEA BEFORE THEY HAVE NEWS CONFERENCE.>>GOOD FOR YOU. YOU NOTICE JUDGE LEWIS LOOKED RELAXED A FEW MINUTES AGO. HOW ABOUT THE OTHER PRINCIPALS TO THE CASE.>>MAY OR MAY NOT BE RELAXED. NOTABLE A LOT OF THEM CONFIDENT DURING THIS PROCEDURES THAT’S WHAT LAWYERS USUALLY CO. AS THEY WALK IN THE OFFICE VERY SUBDIED A LOT OF PRESSURE. HUGE. BILL: HISTORICAL AND LOSING SIDE OF THIS WILL FEEL AWFULLY BAD AND THAT’S WHY THEY ARE NERVOUS.>>ANY GLIMPSES OF JUDGE CLARK AND THE JUDGE WHO ASKED FOR A LITTLE BIT EXTRA TIME TO WORK ON RULING? YOU NO. JUDGE CLARK WE ISN’T — HAVEN’T SEEN ALL DAY. JUDGE — JUDGE LEWIS WE ACCIDENTLY RAN INTO. HAVEN’T SEEN THEM SINCE THEN. STEPHEN: WHEN YOU SEE THE TEAMS OF LAWYERS MOVING ABOUT THE WHOLE TEAMS WHICH INCLUDE DOZENS OF LAWYERS OR JUST THE HEAVY HITTERS MAKING THE ARGUMENT.>>RIGHT NOW THE WHOLE TEAMS EVERYONE ALLOWED IN THE OFFICE GOING IN. AT LEAST 20 ATTORNEYS ATTORNEYS FROM THE BUSH SIDE AND SEMINOLE COUNTY MARTIN FLORIDA THE FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PARTY THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE REPRESENTING ABSENTEE VOTERS THE ONLY ATTORNEYS NOT IN THIS ROOM ARE ATTORNEYS FOR AL GORE. BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AN OFFICIAL PARTY IN EITHER OF THE CASES DEMOCRATIC PLAINTIFFS NOT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. STEPHEN: YOU MADE — MAY HAVE HEARD CARDWELL SAYING EARLIER HIS BELIEF THAT FEELS FILING ALREADY TYPED UP AND SIGNED READY TO GO. THEY ACTUALLY MAY BE IN THE HANDS OF SOME OF THE ATTORNEYS FILING PAST YOU. ANY SIGN OF THOSE?>>YOU CAN REST ASSURED THEY HAVE APPELLANT PAPERS READY. THEY WILL BE FILED VERY FAST.>>HOW FAR DO THEY HAVE TO GO? WHAT DO THEY DO?>>DOWN ONE FLOOR IN COURTHOUSE WILL TAKE THEM PROBABLY LESS THAN TWO MINUTES TO GET THERE FROM THIS OFFICE WHERE THEY HAVE HAVING THE MEETING. STEPHEN: STANDBY IF YOU WILL. WONDERFUL INSIGHT. LET’S GO OUT ALONG TO ROUTE AND TALK TO MARK POTTER KEEPING AN EYE OUTSIDE.>>MARK.>>STEPHEN ONE THING TO ADD TO WHAT THE LAWYERS ARE SAYING IS THAT NOT ONLY ARE THEY — WERE THEY NERVOUS GOING IN, TO HEAR THE RULING,, BUT THEY’VE ALSO SAID SHELL SHOCKED. WHICH THIS SCHEDULE. LAWYERS ARE NOT USED TO WORKING AT THIS PACE. THE OLD LINE THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE TURNS SLOWLY. DOES NOT APPLY HERE AT THE LEON COUNTY COURTHOUSE AT THIS POINT IN OUR HISTORY. LAWYERS GOING ROUND-THE-CLOCK FROM COURTROOM TO COURTROOM IN JUDGE TO JUDGE COURTHOUSE TO COURTHOUSE ALL WITH THE WEIGHT OF HISTORY VERY STRONGLY ON THEIR SHOULDERS. AND THERE EXHAUSTED. AND THEY’VE TALKED ABOUT THAT AND EVEN JOKED HOW QUICKLY THEY HAD TO DO EVERYTHING. USED TO COMPLAIN THE OTHER SIDE DIDN’T GET PAPERWORK WITHIN THE AMOUNT OF DAYS THAT THEY WANT TO HAVE IT. NOW EVERYTHING BOILED DOWN TO DOWN TO MINUTES. AND SO THEY ARE WALKING AROUND WITH GLAZED LOOK IN THEIR EYES KNOWING AS TOUGH AS IT HAS BEEN SO FAR IT WON’T STOP, BECAUSE OF THE APPEALS THAT ARE INEVITABLE IN THIS CASE. SO IT’S BEEN TOUGH. ONE DAY THE TRIAL WENT FROM THE CASE — THIS COURTHOUSE WAS OPERATING FROM 7:00 IN THE MORNING UNTIL 12:30 THE NEXT MORNING AS THEY TRIED TO GET THE CASES DONE IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME AS POTENTIAL. ENVISION THIS TWO COMPLETE TRIALS DEALING WITH HISTORICAL MATERIAL AND COMPLEX FACTS COMPLETED IN TWO DAYS. AND THAT’S ALMOST UNHEARD OF. AND THESE LAWYERS ARE FEELING THE WEIGHT OF THAT QUITE CLEARLY. BACK TO YOU. NATALIE: MARK, MANY OF THE LAWYERS AREN’T FROM FLORIDA. WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN WORKING OUT OF? HOW HARD HAVE THE LOGISTICS BEEN FOR THEM IN GETTING THE WORK DONE AND THE PAIP DWRER WORK THEY HAVE TO DO?>>WELL, FOR THOSE OF US NOT FROM TALLAHASSEE WE CAN FEEL FOR THEM. KIND OF THE SAME. THEY ALSO — THEY’RE WORKING OUT OF OFFICES EITHER THAT THEY HIRED OR THATRY ASSOCIATED WITH. HERE. AND THIS IS — HAS BEEN A GRIND. THEY ARE EATING BAD FOOD. THEY ARE WORKING HARD. THEY ARE BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL. AND THIS IS — THIS IS NOT AN EASY THING. IF YOU CAN IMAGINE, I’M SITTING HERE TALKING TO YOU AND THAT’S PLEASANT EXPERIENCE THEY HAVE TO TALK TO THE SUPREME COURT JUDGES AND THAT’S TOUGH. AND THEY’VE HAD TO DO MORE THAN ONCE. THEN GO TO JUDGES HERE AT LEON COUNTY — AT THE LEON COUNTY COURTHOUSE. NOT AN EASY THING. THOSE GETTING PAID ARE EARNING THEIR MONEY. STEPHEN: HANG AROUND FOR A MINUTE. LET’S TURN TO GARY TUCHMAN.>>THE DECISION ABOUT TO BE ANNOUNCED TOLD ALL THE ATTORNEYS TO STAY PUT INSIDE THE OFFICE SO THE ATTORNEYS DON’T DIVULDGE WHAT HAPPENED THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE COURT GOING DOWN TO THE AREA WHERE THEY WOULD HAVE NEWS CONFERENCE. HAD MEETING TO DISCUSS HOW TO DO THIS SO PEOPLE WOULDN’T GET THE WORD OUTSIDE THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR’S OFFICE BEFORE THE WORD ANNOUNCED ALL THE ATTORNEYS SITTING TIGHT RIGHT NOW IN OFFICE WHILE COURT SPOKESMAN GO TO THE SITE TO ANNOUNCE THE DECISION. SHOULD BE ANY MINUTE. STEPHEN: GARY TUCHMAN WAITING OUTSIDE THE DOOR.>>WE WERE THE ONLY ONES HERE EARLIER WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON. NOW EVERYONE UP HERE. I THINK THEY MADE A DECISION TO DO IT THIS WAY. NATALIE: THE COURT SPOKESMAN ON WHAT FLOOR AND GOING TO WHAT FLOOR NOW IN THIS PICTURE WE’RE SEEING HERE?>>THE COURT SPOKESMAN ON THE THIRD FLOOR WALKING DOWN WINDING STAIRWELL TO THE FIRST FLOOR IN ORDER TO MAKE DECISION. HOLD ON ONE SECOND, GUYS. STEPHEN: WHILE GARY INVESTIGATING ONE OF THE COMMENTS MADE BY THE HEAD OF A LEGAL TEAM HE WAS WASN’T AWARE HOW MANY ATTORNEYS WERE ON THESE CASES. THERE’S SO MANY OF THEM DOWN THERE RIGHT NOW. HAVEN’T FIGURED HOW TO BILL OR WHETHER ALL OF THEM WILL BE PAID. SOME OF THEM WILL WORK APPARENTLY PRO BONO FOR AN AWFUL LOT OF LAWYERS AN IMPORTANT TIME. ALMOST TOO MANY TO COUNT AND FIGURE IN RIGHT NOW. NATALIE: IF YOU NOTICE IN THE SHOT HERE. THAT’S BILL HEMMER STANDING WITH THE CELL PHONE TO HIS EAR AND TOLD THAT HE CAN TALK WITH HIS NOW. WE SEE YOU IN THE WIDE SHOT. ANY SIGN OF THE SPOKESMAN COMING THERE YET.>>YEAH. NATALIE. I CAN TELL YOU WE ANTICIPATE ANY MOMENT TERRY CASS AND THE OTHERS ENTERING THE ROOM HERE. I DON’T KNOW WHICH CAMERA YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. THERE’S ABOUT 40 OF THEM HERE. IN FRONT OF US THE ROOM IS EXTREMELY CROWDED. THIS IS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RULING. HERE COME THE ADMINISTRATORS INTO THE ROOM RIGHT NOW. MOVED TO THE MICROPHONE. I SHALL BE QUIET AND LISTEN IN.>>TERRY CAS SFOR THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.>>GOOD AFTERNOON LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. WE HAVE RULING IN POST IS SEMINOLE COUNTY CASE AND MARTIN COUNTY CASE. BASED UPON THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AND IN ACCORD WITH THE CONTROLLING LEGAL PRECEDENT. OF THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT, THE TRIAL COURT IN BOTH THE SEMINOLE COUNTY CASE AND THE MARTIN COUNTY CASE HAVE DETERMINED THAT DESPITE IRREGULARITIES IN THE REQUEST FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS, NEITHER THE SANCITY OF THE BALLOTS FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTION HAS BEEN COMPROMISED. AND THAT THE ELECTION RESULTS [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] HOLD ON. AND THAT THE ELECTION NNANGNN AS YOU HEARD TERRY CASS SPEAKING FOR BOTH JUSTICES DESPITE IRREGULARITIES THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTION HAS NOT BEEN CO

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