December 12th 2000: Bush v. Gore
On this day in 2000, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in the landmark case of Bush v. Gore. The 2000 Presidential election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore was one of the closest in recent memory. Who would win the election by reaching 270 electoral votes came down to the state of Florida, which was incredibly tight between the two. It appeared that Bush had won, but disputes meant the state ordered a recount. The Supreme Court however, ruled this recount unconstitutional and thus handed the presidency to Bush, despite Gore leading in the popular vote. The case was argued before the Court by Theodore Olson (for Bush) and David Boies (for Gore), who went on to unite to successfully argue for the unconstitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. The incident remains controversial, with people citing it as a reason to abolish the Electoral College and as evidence of the partisan nature of the Supreme Court, as the justices were split 5-4 between the conservatives and liberals.
7 months ago
December 13th 2000: Al Gore concedes presidential election
On this day in 2000, Vice President Al Gore conceded defeat in the 2000 presidential election, thus ending one of the bitterest and most divisive political events in US history. Gore’s decision to concede resulted in Texas Governor George W. Bush becoming President of the United States.
Gore had won the popular vote by over 500,000 votes with 48.4% whereas Bush had 47.9% of the popular vote. However, Gore narrowly lost Florida which gave the Electoral Collge to Bush (271 to 266) as Bush carried more states (30 to Gore’s 20). (see electoral map above)
Prior to his concession, Gore and his supporters waged a legal battle to recount the votes in Florida. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court who, in the landmark ruling Bush v. Gore, ruled a recount unconstitutional and ordered the Florida recount be stopped. Had the recount gone ahead, it is likely that Gore would have won the presidency.
2 years ago