|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Election 2000: Chief Gore Attorney Optimistic About U.S. Supreme Court DecisionAired December 4, 2000 - 1:24 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: You just heard David Boies, the chief litigator for the Gore campaign with reporters in the Leon County courthouse.
He now joins us one-on-one in Tallahassee.
Good afternoon, Mr. Boies.
DAVID BOIES, GORE CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: Good afternoon.
WATERS: As you know, Judge Sanders Sauls has delayed any decision on what you were addressing over the weekend until he's had a chance to read over this Supreme Court ruling. What effect, if any, do you think this will have on the Sauls' decision?
BOIES: I think, ultimately, it will not have an affect. I think the certification process, as we've said from the beginning, is separate from the contest phase. I think it is prudent for the judge to take time to review the United States Supreme Court decision to make sure of that. But I think that, once he's had an opportunity to review it, he will move forward and render a decision, as he said he would last night.
WATERS: And how critical is this N. Sanders Sauls decision to your mission here?
BOIES: Well, I think it's very important to get that decision decided. I think we all recognize that this case is ultimately going to end up in the Florida Supreme Court; but I think it's very important that that decision get decided so that we can begin the recount, if the court decides that that's the appropriate thing to do, or so that we take that issue to the Florida Supreme Court and get a resolution within the time that we have.
WATERS: So the steps ahead are, the Supreme Court hands down a decision for review by the Florida Supreme Court; both sides are now agreeing that the Sauls' decision will be handed up to the Supreme Court. Is there another step in the United States Supreme Court following that?
BOIES: Well, the United States Supreme Court decision, as you know, asks for clarification. Now, once that clarification is given, whether there is a role for the United States Supreme Court depends, first, on what that clarification is and, second, on whether the United States Supreme Court wants to take the case, given that clarification.
The United States Supreme Court indicated that if the Florida Supreme Court was basing its decision on the interpretation of Florida statutes, then that was something for the Florida Supreme Court to do and there would be no further review. So if the Florida Supreme Court comes back and says, as we think it will, based on its prior decision, that this was a decision based on the interpretation of Florida statutes, that's the end of the matter.
BOIES: If the Supreme Court of Florida were to come back and say that they were basing their decision -- and a necessary basis of the decision was an interpretation of the Florida Constitution, then you would have the question raised that was raised by Justice Scalia which is, does the fact that you're relying on a state constitutional provision affect the Article II issue?
WATERS: I'm just a journalist, Mr. Boies, so I'm going to call upon our legal analyst Roger Cossack, who has a question for you.
ROGER COSSACK, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hello, David. Last time you asked me the question, did I think that the Supreme Court was really going to reverse this case and I said I thought that perhaps, there were some problems; so maybe I wasn't entirely wrong.
But let me just ask you the question: You paint this very clearly. You say, look, if the Florida Supreme Court says we based it on statutory law, you win. If the Florida Supreme Court says, well, we based it partially on Florida constitutional law, then there has to be a decision made by the Supreme Court.
But is that really that clear? I mean, suppose they came back and said, we based it totally on Florida statutory law. Do you think that would be the end and that those who are against you in the Supreme Court would then fold up their tent and say the Florida Supreme Court acted correctly?
BOIES: Well, remember the per curiam decision that we got from the United States Supreme Court was a unanimous decision. And that decision, in my mind, does pretty clearly indicate that if all they're doing is interpreting Florida statutes, that is something that is within their province.
I think it's hard to read that decision as saying that, if the Florida Supreme Court was simply interpreting Florida statutes that that would raise a federal question. In fact, if that were to raise a federal question, then it's hard to think of why the United States Supreme Court would have sent it back for clarification.
COSSACK: All right; well, let me suggest to you that perhaps there was a major disagreement within the United States Supreme Court based upon this or based upon what the Florida Supreme Court has done and that there are those who wish to reverse, based on a federal principle and those who wish to affirm based on a state principle.
Do you think, though, that the clarification of the Supreme Court, assuming that they all decide that they wrote their opinion based on the same grounds -- do you think that this will end this issue?
BOIES: I think it will. Obviously, no one can predict what a court is going to do with finality. But I think if you read what the court said today, it's pretty clear that they're saying, the Florida Supreme Court has got to tell us whether they were engaged in statutory interpretation or whether they were interpreting the Florida Constitution. And if they are engaged in statutory interpretation, that's within their province; but if they were engaged in constitutional interpretation, then that raises a potential issue that we'd have to look at.
Now it can always the be the case that this pre curiam decision is designed to, sort of, paper over a split on the court. But if there was a majority on the court to simply reverse, even if it were a statutory interpretation, you wouldn't think they would send it back to the Florida Supreme Court.
WATERS: David Boies, thanks for your time. Roger Cossack, we'll talk to you again throughout the afternoon.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.