Bush v. Gore

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Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), is the landmark United States Supreme Court decision that effectively resolved the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush. Only eight days earlier, the United States Supreme Court had unanimously decided the closely related case of Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 531 U.S. 70 (2000), and only three days earlier, had preliminarily halted the recount that was occurring in Florida.

In a per curiam decision, the Court in Bush v. Gore ruled that the Florida Supreme Court's method for recounting ballots was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also ruled that no alternative method could be established within the time limits set by the State of Florida. Three concurring justices also asserted that the Florida Supreme Court had violated Article II, § 1, cl. 2 of the Constitution, by misinterpreting Florida election law that had been enacted by the Florida Legislature.

The decision allowed Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris's previous certification of George W. Bush as the winner of Florida's electoral votes to stand. Florida's 25 electoral votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, defeating Democratic candidate Al Gore, who ended up with 266 electoral votes (with one D.C. elector abstaining). A majority (270) of the electoral votes is needed to win the Presidency or Vice Presidency in the Electoral College.

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