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Counting In Florida Stopped; US Supreme Court Justices To Hear Bush Appeal On Monday

December 9, 2000

Standing: Ginsburg, Souter, Thomas, Breyer; Seated: Scalia, Stevens, Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy Twenty-four hours after the Florida Supreme Court ordered recounting to commence in Florida, the United States Supreme Court has granted a stay, pending the hearing of oral arguments by the parties at 11am on Monday.

The suspension of the counting was the result of a 5-4 decision by the highest court in the land. The split was along now well-known ideological lines, the conservative majority comprising Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas. The minority comprised Justices John Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Counting which was underway in Florida has now ceased.

The decision is a blow to Vice-President Al Gore, as the December 12 deadline for the certification of Florida's 25 electors draws closer.

Quoting from Andrew Marvell, Gore's lawyer, David Boies, told a news conference that "if we had world enough and time" the recounting would show the Democrat candidate pulling ahead of the Texas Governor.

James Baker III, spokesman for the Bush campaign, referred to the dissenting opinion from the Florida Chief Justice, Charles T. Wells, in support of the Federal decision.

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