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Election 2000: Florida Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Arguments ThursdayAired December 5, 2000 - 2:01 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A month ago today, 100 million Americans went to the voting booths. Now, for all practical purposes, seven Americans -- the men and women who sit on Florida's Supreme Court -- look ready to determine who will be president. Today the court took the first steps toward what may be the final act of election 2000.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee with today's developments -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Natalie.
First of all, the news from the Florida Supreme Court is what Vice President Gore's team had wanted to hear and had expected to hear. For Governor Bush's lawyers, the news is not unexpected, but his lawyers stand ready to move forward.
Oral arguments will be heard Thursday morning. Attorneys for each side will have a half hour to make their case before the Florida Supreme Court, this on Vice President Gore's appeal. But, not only do the lawyers have to try to present the main issues of this case -- that is, lawyers for Vice President Gore trying to convince the court that they are right, that there is a recount called for here -- but his lawyers must also convince the seven Supreme Court justices that they should be hearing this in the first case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG WATERS, FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SPOKESMAN: The court has not actually decided the jurisdictional issue. They are including that with the oral argument. This is something that is sometimes done whenever the court wants to address that issue during oral arguments as well. So, in a formal sense, the court has not actually taken the case. It is simply scheduling arguments, and will hear arguments on the jurisdictional matter as well as on the substantive matters when the case is heard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: For those who are not lawyers, it might sound a little bit confusing; but try to understand it this way: The Florida Supreme Court has the authority to hear this case. The question is whether it should exercise that authority. And while those arguments are being heard, attorneys for Vice President Gore will also try to convince this court the merits of their case.
How long it will take for this court to render a decision is anyone's guess. But, again, those oral argument are scheduled for Thursday morning.
Back to you, Natalie.
ALLEN: All right, Susan.
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