Supreme Court Cites Bush v. Gore For The First Time Ever

Monday marked the first time ever that Bush v. Gore was cited by a Supreme Court justice in an opinion since the controversial 2000 decision that settled the presidential election.

Justice Clarence Thomas cited the case in his dissent in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council, a case involving a voting law in Arizona. No other justice joined his dissent. Here’s what Thomas wrote in his footnote:

The NVRA’s “accept and use” requirement applies to all federal elections, even presidential elections… This Court has recognized, however, that “the state legislature’s power to select the manner for appointing [presidential] electors is plenary; it may, if it chooses, select the electors itself.” Bush v. Gore, 531 U. S. 98, 104 (2000)

The citation was caught by Pepperdine law professor Derek T. Muller and amplified in blog posts by court watchers Josh Blackman and Rick Hasen — the latter two observed that no Supreme Court justice has ever cited Bush v. Gore since the case.

Some scholars have argued that the lack of Supreme Court citation of the major case is evidence that it was based on shoddy legal reasoning. Blackman, who calls Bush v. Gore an “unprecedent,” quoted a famous line from the 2000 majority opinion saying the jurisprudence was “limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: