Bush v. Gore Case Brief

Facts of the case

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board , and concurrent with Vice President Al Gore’s contest of the certification of Florida presidential election results, on December 8, 2000 the Florida Supreme Court ordered that the Circuit Court in Leon County tabulate by hand 9000 contested ballots from Miami-Dade County. It also ordered that every county in Florida must immediately begin manually recounting all under-votes(ballots which did not indicate a vote for president) because there were enough contested ballots to place the outcome of the election in doubt. Governor George Bush and his running mate, Richard Cheney, filed a request for review in the U.S. Supreme Court and sought an emergency petition for a stay of the Florida Supreme Court’s decision. The U.S. Supreme Court granted review and issued the stay on December 9. It heard oral argument two days later.


The lower court failed to identify and require standards for accepting or rejecting contested ballots. Moreover, the decision to include a partial total from one county gave no assurance that the recounts included in the final certification were required to be complete. Thus, the recount procedures were inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the special instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer.

  • Advocates: David Boies Argued the cause for the respondent Joseph P. Klock Argued the cause for petitioner Harris Theodore B. Olson Argued the cause for petitioner Bush
  • Petitioner: George W. Bush
  • Respondent: Albert Gore
  • DECIDED BY:Rehnquist Court
  • Location: Florida Supreme Court
Citation: 531 US 98 (2000)
Argued: Dec 11, 2000
Decided: Dec 12, 2000
Bush v. Gore Case Brief