Justice Ginsburg Comments on Number of Bush v. Gore Dissents

In this must-read Jess Bravin piece, there’s this:

The importance of “one dissent instead of four” was driven home by Bush v. Gore, she said, when the court moved quickly in December 2000 to accept, hear and decide the suit Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush filed to stop Florida from counting votes. While the five conservatives issued a single, unsigned opinion siding with Mr. Bush (along with a three-justice concurrence adding additional reasons), each of the four liberals filed a separate dissent.

“That happened because there was no time,” Justice Ginsburg said. “They took the case one day, briefs the next day, oral argument the next day, opinions the next day.”

And then Justice Stevens left town for his Florida condo. “There was just no time for the four of us to get together.” Regardless of its consequences, few scholars of any stripe consider Bush v. Gore, with its six separate majority and dissenting opinions, a model of clarity.

Bonus excerpts from interview: RGB calls Dahlia Lithwick “kind of spicy.”


Comments are closed.