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2000 Redux: Baker Botts and The Supreme Court

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COMMENT: If, as seems alto­geth­er prob­a­ble, Amy Coney Bar­rett is con­firmed to sit on the Supreme Court, there will be three judges on SCOTUS that worked for Bak­er Botts on the Flori­da recount [5] that gave Dubya the Pres­i­den­cy in the 2000 elec­tion.

John Roberts is now Chief Jus­tice. Brett Kavanaugh also worked on the Flori­da deba­cle for Bak­er Botts.

We should not for­get that Trump aide and long-time GOP dirty trick­ster Roger Stone led the so-called “Brooks Broth­ers Riot” that helped shut down the Dade Coun­ty vote recount.

1. “Amy Coney Bar­rett Worked on Bush v. Gore” by David Siro­ta and Andrew Perez; Jacobin Mag­a­zine; 09/28/2020. [6]

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump last week said he wants to imme­di­ate­ly fill the new Supreme Court vacan­cy because he expects the pan­el to decide the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

On Fri­day, mul­ti­ple news out­lets report­ed that Trump intends to nom­i­nate Amy Coney Bar­rett, who would be the third jus­tice on the court to have worked for Repub­li­cans direct­ly on the Bush v. Gore case that over­threw the 2000 elec­tion. She would be the sec­ond installed on the court by Trump.

Three years ago, Bar­rett told the Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee [7] that “one sig­nif­i­cant case on which I pro­vid­ed research and brief­ing assis­tance was Bush v. Gore.” She said she worked on the case for the law firm Bak­er Botts while it was in Flori­da courts. She declined to detail the scope of her work on the case and for oth­er clients at the firm, say­ing: “I no longer have records of the mat­ters upon which I worked.” . . .

. . . . Chief Jus­tice John Roberts coun­seled then Flori­da gov­er­nor Jeb Bush dur­ing that elec­tion, accord­ing to emails [8]. The Los Ange­les Times [9] report­ed that Roberts “trav­eled to Tal­la­has­see, the state cap­i­tal, to dis­pense legal advice” and “oper­at­ed in the shad­ows at least some of those 37 days” that decid­ed the elec­tion. Roberts has a long record of work­ing to lim­it [10] vot­ing rights.

It is a sim­i­lar sto­ry for Jus­tice Brett Kavanaugh. The Mia­mi Her­ald [11] report­ed that dur­ing the Flori­da stand­off, “Kavanaugh joined Bush’s legal team, which was try­ing to stop the bal­lot recount in the state.” Kavanaugh appeared on nation­al tele­vi­sion to push for the rul­ing that halt­ed the statewide recount and hand­ed Bush the pres­i­den­cy. . . .

2. “Brooks Broth­ers Riot;” Wikipedia.com [12]

The Brooks Broth­ers riot was a demon­stra­tion [13] at a meet­ing of elec­tion can­vassers in Mia­mi-Dade Coun­ty, Flori­da [14], on Novem­ber 22, 2000, dur­ing a recount of votes made dur­ing the 2000 Unit­ed States pres­i­den­tial elec­tion [15], with the goal of shut­ting down the recount.[1] [16]

Mia­mi-Dade Coun­ty offi­cial can­vassers, in order to meet a court-ordered dead­line, decid­ed to lim­it the coun­ty’s recount to the 10,750 bal­lots that their com­put­er had been unable to tal­ly. They moved the count­ing process to a small­er room, clos­er to the bal­lot-scan­ning equip­ment, to speed up the process, at a dis­tance from the media. Repub­li­can [17] offi­cials object­ed to this change of plans and insist­ed the can­vassers do a full recount. At that time, New York [18] Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John E. Sweeney [19][2] [20] told an aide to “Shut it down.”[3] [21][4] [22][5] [23] Accord­ing to inves­tiga­tive reporter Greg Palast [24], author of “The Best Democ­ra­cy Mon­ey Can Buy [25]” in 2002, Roger Stone [26] orga­nized the demon­stra­tion, and Matt Schlapp [27] was the on-site leader. . . .

. . . . Sev­er­al of the pro­tes­tors were iden­ti­fied as Repub­li­can con­gres­sion­al staffers.[2] [20][7] [28] At least a half dozen of the demon­stra­tors were paid by George W. Bush [29]’s recount com­mit­tee,[3] [21] and a num­ber of them went on to take jobs in the incom­ing Bush admin­is­tra­tion [30]. . . .