A Badly Flawed Election

Debating Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court, and American Democracy
Edited by:

America’s leading constitutional scholars and historians debate the most controversial election in U.S. history

The 2000 presidential election ended, according to constitutional law scholar Ronald Dworkin, in the worst possible way—“not with a national affirmation of democratic principle but by the fiat of the five conservative Supreme Court justices over the fierce objection of the four more liberal justices.” The Court’s decision ensured both a George W. Bush victory and a continuing cloud of suspicion over that victory—as well as an unprecedented examination of the politics of the Court itself. Now Dworkin, one of the most important liberal analysts in Anglo-American jurisprudence, has assembled a distinguished cast of leading legal scholars and historians to debate the consequences of that fiat in a unique group exchange format, with printed responses by each of the contributors to the essays of the others. This book will undoubtedly be welcomed as the most thorough, intellectually rigorous examination of the 2000 election.

A Badly Flawed Election includes contributions by Dworkin, conservative Judge Richard Poner, Harvard Law School’s Lani Guinier, the University of Chicago Law School’s Cass Sunstein, New York University law professor Richard Pildes, historian Arthur Schlesigner Jr., Berkeley political scientist Nelson Polsby, and Harvard’s Lawrence Tribe, who argued Vice President Al Gore’s case before the Supreme Court. Tribe’s original essay combines analysis with a personal reflection on the impact the Court’s decision has had on his own attitude toward the Court, constitutional law, and teaching. The book also includes a major new introduction by Dworkin, assessing the legal, political, and ethical legacy of the election, and will feature a discussion of policy proposals that would ensure meaningful election reform.