Supreme Court Elects the President, by Jesse Jackson Jr.
Source Dave Anderson
Date 00/12/13/13:29

Orchestrates "Velvet Legal Coup"

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. today said, "As a U.S. congressman
I swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United
States. Today I reaffirm that oath. I also reaffirm that we are
a nation of laws and not of men, thus, I accept and will abide by
the ruling of the Supreme Court.

"However, even as I accept and will abide by the decision, I also
-- with every bone in my body and every ounce of moral strength in
my soul -- strongly and vigorously disagree with it. In third
world countries when democratically cast votes are not counted, or
the person who most likely lost wins in a highly questionable
manner, we usually refer to that as a coup d'etat -- the overthrow
of a government, usually by a small group of persons. All legal
votes in Florida were not counted. If they had been counted, there
is at least a strong possibility that Vice President Gore would have
received the most votes in Florida as he did in the country -- which
is why the Bush people did not want the votes counted. Even more
important than partisan politics, the votes should have been counted
in the name of democracy in order to give the maximum amount of
credibility and legitimacy to the eventual winner. What we have
just witnessed is a Supreme Court that was used as a willing tool
of the Bush campaign.

"After the Soviet Union collapsed, many of its satellites fell.
In the case of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel became the new
President on the basis of a legitimate people uprising and a
democratic "Velvet Revolution." In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court
orchestrated a questionable 'velvet legal coup.'

"The basis of politics and legal authority in the United States is
the Constitution. The first words in the Preamble are 'We the
people.' We the PEOPLE are the ultimate source of power and legal
authority for our government. The people express their will
through the vote. And the will and intention of the voter, as best
it can be discerned by machines, bipartisan hand counters and
accompanying public witnesses must be the legal standard.

"While I urge calm and a political response in 2002 and 2004, I
see this decision as a potential threat to our democracy and
potentially de-stabilizing to our democratic institutions. I see
it as undermining the legitimacy of a President Bush should he be
elected without all of the votes being counted. All Americans can
live with votes counted for Gov. George W. Bush. But democracy
cannot live if the votes of the American people are not counted.
An uncounted vote says to the American people that THEY don't count.

"I do not believe that over 100 million Americans went to the polls
and cast their ballots with the expectation that they would not be
counted. I also do not believe they voted with the expectation that
their next president would be selected by five conservative, strict
constructionist, narrowly ideological, Republican-appointed justices
who used the means of legal nitpicking and highly questionable legal
technicalities as a substitute for the peoples' democratic will as
expressed through their vote.

"Justice Scalia, in the previous decision, went so far as to say
that there is no legal right of suffrage in the Constitution. Thus,
the American people, through their federal and state elected
officials, may need to amend the constitution making the right to
vote -- which all Americans thought was implicit in our Constitution
and laws -- explicit in the Constitution. This decision, with the
kind of thinking reflected by Justice Scalia, is a threat to our
democracy. It is hard to imagine that Bush v. Gore will be viewed
as a high water mark in the history of the Supreme Court when viewed
through the eyes of history. It will more likely be compared to
other infamous decisions such as Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson.

"The road is now even tougher for Vice President Gore, but it is
still up to him as to whether he pursues any further legal or
political remedies. I still strongly support all legal and
political efforts to make sure that all voters who cast votes on
November 7 have their votes counted. Legal options seem to have
exhausted any hope of getting all the votes counted. However,
there may be political means in Congress still open to the Vice
President that he may wish to pursue. I will respect whatever
course he chooses.

"The Vice President won the most national votes. And I believe that
if all votes cast in Florida had been counted he would have won the
most votes there as well -- and, thus, the 25 electoral votes and
the presidency. Legal matters have been pursued through the courts,
ultimately with no relief. If everything remains the same, it
appears that the Electoral College vote will go to Governor Bush.

"However, beyond and even more important than Bush or Gore, is the
issue of the integrity of the voting system itself. There appears
to be 'voting rights' violations that should be pursued regardless
of who wins the election. Congress needs to pass legislation to
federalize and nationalize future elections to the extent that
there is one, fair, inclusive national standard and mechanism for
conducting our federal elections.

"It appears, through a combination of inferior voting machines,
police roadblocks, questionable voting procedures, roll purges and
other such mechanisms, that a significant number of African
Americans were denied either their right to vote or to have their
vote count. These matters should be fully investigated beyond the
election results and corrective procedures should be put in place
for the future. African Americans should remain more determined
than ever to vote and to have their vote count. If there is a fire
and water is poured on it, but it doesn't put out the fire, don't
conclude that water doesn't put out fires. Conclude that it will
take more water. By the same token African Americans should NOT
conclude that voting doesn't count, but that we need even more
votes to achieve the desired effect. We must spend the time
between now and 2002 registering and politically educating the
nearly 8 million yet unregistered black voters. In fact, we must
register all Americans to vote regardless of race, creed or color,"
Jackson concluded.

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