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Federal Lawsuit Challenging Palm Beach County Election Results is WithdrawnAired November 9, 2000 - 1:53 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We have a new development from Florida. The emergency lawsuit that was filed in federal court that we have been telling you about in Palm Beach County, challenging the voting results of the presidential election, has been withdrawn.
We have CNN's Mark Potter on the line with us.
What happened, Mark?
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, we came to court expecting to hear an argument (AUDIO GAP) before federal judge (AUDIO GAP) ... he walked in the room, the lawyers for the plaintiff's stood up and said, your honor, we have withdrawn the lawsuit. And the judge seemed taken aback by that and he asked him (AUDIO GAP) ... it's dead and everybody was asked to leave the courtroom. We suspect that the reason that occurred is because (AUDIO GAP) filed instead of in federal court, they will file a suit in state court. We do not know that for sure, because the lawyers would not explain why.
But all the other lawsuits in this case, and there are four that now we believe are being filed in state court -- and the lawyers on the defense side, a lawyer for the supervisor of elections in Palm Beach County talked to them this afternoon, he said that the state court is the proper place to have such a case heard, and that he suspected this case will be first at the circuit court level, then it will be appealed to a higher level, ultimately to the Florida Supreme Court. But the details of that are still to be worked out.
But the federal action, the one that we came here to cover just a short while ago, is over, because it no longer is a federal case.
WATERS: All right, Mark Potter, you have a bad cell there, however, I can sum it up for you here. The federal court lawsuit has been withdrawn apparently because it's being combined in a state lawsuit and by Florida court -- by Florida law, as we've been telling you -- a state court judge is required to review the ballots, review any discrepancies and take some action. So, that legal business in Florida seems to be coalescing around a state court lawsuit now which won't be filed until next week. So we go on and on.
Here is Natalie.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And we continue to hear from the people about this election 2000 and where we're at in it, so let's go again to CNN's Jeff Flock, whom we have re-established contact with at Chicago's Field Museum -- Jeff.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Better signal now I think, Natalie. Perhaps you can see Sue the dinosaur back there behind me, but the topic today obviously not so much science, but what is going on here. I guess the question of this group, we've been kicking around the prospect of court and weeks of not knowing -- does that worry you at all, this whole prospect of this thing playing out for a long period of time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it doesn't worry me, but I think that something very unusual happened down in Florida, and to throw away 19,000 votes shows that people were legitimately confused, and there is a lot on the line and they should investigate everything and go through all the process, because something very unusual did happen down there and there should be a recount and a court hearing, or whatever.
FLOCK: What do you think, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was very disappointed having stayed up until 3:00 in the morning...
FLOCK: Not to have a winner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... the winner, right.
FLOCK: What about this whole mess now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I am hoping that we can show the world that we can resolve this in a very peaceful, legal, and not messy way.
FLOCK: Now, you are from Wisconsin -- both of you are from Wisconsin -- the Bush camp has made some noises about perhaps trying to recount Wisconsin, what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I just -- I don't know if I feel that that's really necessary. I think it's just going to open a can of worms and state after state is going to come through with this. So...
FLOCK: And last word to you, sir, you are a Gore supporter, but you said you don't want to see a big recount.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so. I think this country has had enough going to court in the last 24 months.
FLOCK: Ten-4. Thank you, sir. We're out of time. It's good to get the feeling of the populace, everybody talking about it.
We are at the Field Museum live, CNN, I'm Jeff Flock reporting.
ALLEN: Glad to have the fine folks there at the museum putting a button on for us here.
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