Equal Protection? The Supreme Court's Decision in Bush v. Gore


March 1, 2006
March 1, 2006


In a ruling that ended the contentious recount battle in Florida and effectively decided the 2000 presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Florida's highest court had violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Geoffrey R. Stone, law professor at the University of Chicago, assesses the arguments made by the court's most conservative members--Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas--and traces their voting records in other cases where the Equal Protection Clause was invoked. What he finds is an activist legal doctrine that, in the hands of these Justices, apparently has only two uses: dismantling affirmative action and safeguarding the rights of the 2000 Republican presidential candidate. Copyright 2001 The University of Chicago.