The Supreme Court might have made a mistake when it decided to make George W. Bush president back in 2000, retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor has admitted.
“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Friday. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.'”
Three years ago, O’Connor said she wasn’t certain she made the right call by siding with the majority in the court’s 5-4 decision, which effectively won the election for George W. Bush.
In the same interview, she added that she was relieved when several recounts in disputed Florida counties proved Bush won.
But on Friday, she said, “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”
The case definitely gave the court “a less-than-perfect reputation” in the eyes of the public, she said.
New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin told NPR that O’Connor regrets her vote, even if she will never say so:
“To know Justice O’Connor as I am privileged to do is to know that the word ‘regret’ never passes her lips… Did she regret her vote in Bush v. Gore? Did she regret the Bush presidency? You bet she did, and you bet she does. The war in Iraq. The war on terror. John Ashcroft as attorney general. The Terri Schiavo case. All of these things filled Justice O’Connor with revulsion, and you can be sure that her vote in Bush v. Gore weighs on her mind.”
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