Election Law

Bush Lawyer Imagines Déjà Vu Election Lawsuit—Between Democrats


The lawyer who represented President Bush in the battle over the 2000 election results raises the possibility of litigation, this time between Democrats, over the party’s rightful presidential nominee.

Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general, writes in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that the party’s “Rube Goldberg nominating process” could give one candidate a majority of the convention delegate votes even though another led in the popular vote. And if Hillary Clinton is the candidate who is on the losing side of the delegate count in such a scenario, expect “tidal waves of litigation,” he says.

The first step could be a lawsuit in 2000 battleground Florida over the Democratic party’s refusal to recognize Florida’s delegation. If Florida courts side with Clinton, the result would be lawyers for the Democratic party splitting into two camps, one citing the Bush v. Gore decision overturning Florida courts and the other “preaching a newfound respect for ‘federalism’ and demanding that the high court leave the Florida court decisions alone,” he says.

Perhaps the scenario is only a déjà vu fantasy, he writes, but “if it does happen, I’d be more than happy to loan Sen. Obama the winning briefs that helped secure the election of the legitimate winner of the 2000 election, George W. Bush.”

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