During a speech at Wesleyan University last night, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia offered a strange revision of the time he joined with four of his conservative colleagues to make George W. Bush president:
At the end of the speech, Scalia took questions from the audience. One person asked about the Bush-Gore case, where the Supreme Court had to determine the winner of the election.
“Get over it,” Scalia said of the controversy surrounding it, to laughter from the audience.“
Scalia reminded the audience it was Gore who took the election to court, and the election was going to be decided in a court anyway—either the Florida Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.
It was a long time ago, people forget…It was a 7-2 decision. It wasn’t even close,” he said.
Bush v. Gore was not a 7-2 decision — and indeed, Scalia could tell this is true by counting all four of the dissenting opinions in that case. Although it is true that the four dissenters divided on how the Florida recount should proceed — two believed there should be a statewide recount of all Florida voters while two others believed a narrower recount would be acceptable — not one of the Court’s four moderates agreed with Scalia that the winner of the 2000 presidential election should effectively be chosen by five most conservative members of the Supreme Court of the United States.