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Election 2000: Florida Legislative Committee Recommends Special Session to Name State's Electors; Gore Lawyers to Argue ConstitutionalityAired November 30, 2000 - 2:01 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: Well, we have ballots, lawyers and potential Cabinet appointees today. All are on the move today, as another player joins the fray: The Florida legislature could be called into special session before December 12th to name the state's presidential electors if the courts haven't resolved this matter.
Right now, a truck loaded with all of Palm Beach county's ballots is nearing the state capital. A circuit judge there is expected to decide, Saturday, whether there should be a recount of disputed ballots from that county and from Miami-Dade. Miami-Dade ballots will be on the road tomorrow.
In Texas, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are meeting with retired general Colin Powell, who's widely rumored to be Bush's pick for secretary of state.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: In Washington, Al Gore's legal team is objecting to today's move by Florida's Republican-dominated legislature. A short time ago, a joint committee voted to recommend a special session be called to name the state's 25 electors.
Let's go first to our national correspondent Mike Boettcher. He's at the Florida state capitol -- Mike.
MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, those papers filed before the Supreme Court were written by Lawrence tribe, Gore attorney, and basically, their argument is, which they would like to be considered by the Supreme Court tomorrow during that hearing, is that the legislative committee's act today, or the future act of calling a special session and voting to select the electors, violates Article Six of the U.S. Constitution by saying that any state legislature that selects electors after the fact could be federally preempted, according to Article Six in the Constitution.
Now, the Republican-dominated legislature here would argue that Article Two of the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the sole power to select electors if there is some confusion about the election outcome, which they argue we have right now.
Now, there was a debate today before that vote was taken. It was eight to five along party lines, eight Republicans, five Democrats voting to recommend that special session. It was very interesting debate. Let's listen to some of it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUDLEY GOODLETTE (R), FLORIDA STATE HOUSE: We have a constitutional obligation. Yes, I listened to these legal scholars, and -- as all of you did -- and I've concluded that, although electors have been appointed by the certificate of attainment that we heard about yesterday, it's because of these invalidation proceedings that are under way and that are pending, that I believe Florida runs the risk of losing its ability to appoint if that uncertainty remains on December the 12th.
TOM ROSSIN (D), FLORIDA STATE HOUSE: We were elected to represent the people, and we have all sworn to uphold the Constitution of Florida and of the United States. We have no constitutional right to substitute our votes for theirs. The suggestion by supposed constitutional expert -- experts that this legislative body has the power to overturn the will of the voters of Florida is ludicrous and bizarre.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOETTCHER: Now, the next step for the speaker of the House, a Republican, and the Senate president, also a Republican, to sign a sheet of paper, or one of their surrogates to sign a sheet of paper -- they have designated -- because they are going to Washington for the Supreme Court hearing. They will sign a sheet saying when this special session will be called. It looks like, according to sources here at the state capitol, it will be Tuesday. They will introduce a bill at a time that gives them enough time to pass it so that it will be in effect by December 12th, which is the deadline date at 12:01 a.m. on the 12th, during which time that the state electors must be sent from Florida to the electoral college -- Natalie.
ALLEN: All right, Mike Boettcher, with the latest on the Florida legislature's move there in Tallahassee.
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