Politics & Policy

Are Republicans Men Enough To Follow the Law?

Back up Katherine Harris against the kangaroo court.

In an act of naked partisanship, seven Democrats drunk with power are trying to give Al Gore a fifth shot at winning an election he lost in the first four counts.  (The election, the recount, the permitted manual recounts in select Democratic counties, and the absentee ballots.) The Florida Supreme Court’s Tuesday “ruling” not only directly contravenes Florida state law, but is contrary to federal law, which designates “laws enacted” prior to election day governing presidential elections as “conclusive.”

The Court earnestly balanced one factor against another — finality, for example, versus the need for “every vote to count” — overlooking the little detail about the legislature already having weighed these factors and enacted a law providing the resolution.

That’s not the way the kangaroo court saw things.  The court was confused by provisions in Florida election law such as this: “Returns must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 7th day following the…general election”; and  “If the county returns are not received by the Department of State by 5 p.m. of the seventh day following an election, all missing counties shall be ignored, and the results shown by the returns on file shall be certified.” 

The baffler for the learned Justices was that the law allows recounts.  If the law allows recounts, the court reasoned, how can there ever be a deadline? If there are term papers, how can there be a due date?  If there’s a campaign, how can there be an election day?   If there’s sleep, how can there be an alarm clock? 

This isn’t a joke; that, literally, was the legal analysis of the Florida Supreme Court: Because something is permitted, any explicit statutory deadlines thereto must be optional.  Indeed, even that description imposes more logic on the court’s ruling than it actually exhibits, since the court didn’t merely refuse to acknowledge the existence of deadlines.  It imposed its own.  (At least we now know seven Floridians who probably genuinely were confused by the butterfly ballot.)

It’s been sporting of Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State, to watch as the State Supreme Court hijacks a presidential election with its ponderous weighing of various factors in order to determine how much time the Democrats need to steal votes.  But their ruling is irrelevant to the law.  In fact, it’s directly contrary to the law.

Florida officials should react just as they would react if the corrupt Florida court had issued a ruling purporting to make Mickey Mouse the president of the United States, something the court would have precisely as much authority to do as the ruling it really did issue.  State officials are subject to the law, irrespective of the mad scribblings of a kangaroo court.

The law — not to be confused with the Florida Supreme Court’s corrupt attempt to install Al Gore as president — gives Florida counties until “5 p.m. of the seventh day following an election” to get their returns in.  Harris is expressly directed by that law to “ignore” any county returns submitted after the seven-day deadline.

On one hand, Harris can follow the law enacted by one branch of the Florida government, duly signed into law by another, and enshrined as “conclusive” by federal law.  Or she can obey the corrupt and lawless attempt of a kangaroo court to rewrite the law after an election has taken place to install their potentate. 

Let’s see: Doddering power-mad lunatics, or the written law?  What to do? What to do?

Harris ought to certify the electors — as the law requires. Whatever additional votes the Democrats can steal after the seven-day deadline must be “ignored.” The Florida legislature should confirm Harris’s certification and the governor should pardon Harris from any conceivable prosecution for her obedience to the law.

Republicans don’t have to be lying thieves like the Democrats to end this national nightmare.  They just have to screw up the courage to enforce the law.  They have to be men. Katherine Harris probably would be — if only the genetic men in the legislature and governor’s office will back her up.


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