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Special Event

Judge Rules Palm Beach County Revote Not Legal

Aired November 20, 2000 - 10:32 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we are going to take you over to West Palm, and listen in to where lawyers are talking about the decision that was made recently about no re-vote that will take place in that county.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's -- that would be correct. We think that the relief which we are seeking would be narrowly crafted so that it would be a revote on the presidential candidates who are, you know, so far in the lead the two major candidates. That is the relief that we are seeking.

QUESTION: Have you talked to any of your clients to get their reaction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet. We have just received the order inside. So that is what is what we are going to do.

QUESTION: How did you proceed the main thing? What was the main thing that you two guys appealed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that Judge LaBarga was impressed with the federal statute and the constitutional prerequisite of setting the date. We don't think that it is, that poses an impediment to a state court judge exercising his discretion under Florida's election law in order to remedy a wrong. And that is what we are going to impress upon the Fourth District Court of Appeals.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am sorry, say again.

QUESTION: ... by the attorneys for the Democratic Party?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if the Democratic Party or the Gore campaign will be joining us. We are doing this on behalf of the voters whom we represent. They will get the decision, make a decision on their own.

QUESTION: The judge only ruled on revote, not on the underlying attention of the ballots? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the right. The ruling does not factually decide the contention of our clients, just says that, as a matter of law, he can't rule on the kind of remedy which we are seeking. But we want the appellate court to be able to consider and then opine as to whether or not we are entitled to the full length of what the law permits us to do, and which is to seek a full remedy of the court, which we feel is a revote.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go, and we are going to address that immediately.

QUESTION: Any other remedy. The case had come back to a lower court, you will address the issues that you are successful in the appellate court?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the appellate court, whichever it may ultimately be, will opine on the law, send it back to the trial court, in order for us to have the trial on the...

PHILLIPS: The decision has been made. Decision has been made in the lawsuit over the controversial butterfly ballots in West Palm Beach. Judge Jorge LaBarga came down, these are the lawyers who are talking to reporters right now. But the decision did come down that there will not be a revote in West Palm. The judge decided, or when he made his decision, he said it is not legally possible to have a revote under the Florida statute and the Constitution. And an appeal definitely will be filed.

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