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Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
Bush v. Gore
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The United States presidential election of 2000 between George W. Bush (Plaintiff) and Albert Gore (Defendant) was one of the closest in American history. After it was clear that Defendant won the popular vote, the outcome turned on the State of Florida and its twenty-five electoral votes to determine the outcome of the electoral vote. After the national deadline for counting votes passed with no clear winner of the Florida electoral vote announced, Defendant relied on a Florida statute and requested a manual recount of the votes from a Florida state trial court. The statute provided for “contest” of election results when there was “receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election.” The trial court held that Defendant failed to prove a “reasonable probability” that the election would have turned out differently if not for problems counting ballots. The Supreme Court of Florida reversed, however, noting that the trial court used the wrong standard in requiring Defendant to demonstrate a “reasonable probability” that the election would have been decided differently. Instead, the Florida Supreme Court said that the statute required only a showing of “receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election.” The court held that Defendant met this standard and ordered a manual recount of votes which included a net gain of legal votes for Defendant identified by Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County in earlier manual recounts following the election. Shortly after the recount began, Plaintiff requested that the United States Supreme Court grant a stay of the recount and grant certiorari to consider the case. The Supreme Court granted a stay and certiorari.
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- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
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