Sandra Day O'Connor's Doubts on Bush v. Gore

Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has said that she has doubts about whether the court should have taken up Bush v. Gore. Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times, explains what her comments tell us about public opinion and the Supreme Court, the decision in Bush v. Gore, and what it means for potential future cases.

Brian's 2006 Exchange with Sandra Day O'Connor on Bush vs. Gore

Lehrer: Here in my city...which voted 75% for Al Gore, you will always be remembered as the deciding vote to elect President Bush. Can you tell New York, for posterity, in lay-man's terms, why you denied Florida the right to recount votes in its own state?

O'Connor: Well, Florida had the opportunity to recount votes and did. But the court found that Florida courts were not correctly applying federal law in the election process there. And after the decision of our court became final, there were three separate recounts of the votes in the counties that were affected by the decision. And those were conducted by members of the media, and in none of those votes would have changed. So indeed the Florida vote count was as it was -- very close, indeed, but it went in favor of George Bush.

Lehrer: I guess you never second guess yourself on that one?

O'Connor: Well, I don't know that I need to.