Election 2000: May It Please The Court

The Justices brought reason to the chaos, if only for a moment. But how will their ruling affect the outcome?

We like to say we hate lawyers, that they pickle and fillet and jelly common sense until we're all flummoxed. For a while now, and particularly in the past few weeks, it has become fashionable to say that politics has been lawyered to death, that we face the cheerless prospect of election-by-lawsuit forever.

And we may, at least whenever elections are as close as this one. But there was a moment last week when nine lawyers, the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, brightened rather than blanched American democracy, asking us to look beyond the merely dimpled. Friday was a day...

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