Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Bush v. Gore Was a Mistake

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has expressed doubt in regards to her decision in the landmark case Bush v. Gore, which effectively handed the presidency to George W. Bush in the 2000 election.

“[The Supreme Court] took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said in the Chicago Tribune editorial board last Friday. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.'”

In a 5-4 vote, O’Connor sided with four conservative justices to stop the recount in Florida, the decisive state in the election.

“Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” O’Connor said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

Talking Points Memo notes that the Reagan-appointed former justice “who was the pivotal swing vote in many key cases prior to her retirement, has since seen parts of her judicial legacy unravel on issues like abortion, campaign finance and race-based government policies, thanks in part to her Bush-appointed successor, Samuel Alito.”

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