Report: Barrett Helped Bush Steal 2000 Election By Defending Ballot Fraud
President Donald Trump is hoping to have Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett confirmed prior to the November election because he believes the nation’s highest court will end up ruling on ballot disputes.
- Mother Jones noted that Trump made this clear during the first presidential debate, saying, “I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely.”
- And last month, the president said on the matter, “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court. And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices.”
- If Barrett is confirmed prior to the election, Mother Jones reported, she will be the third sitting justice who was involved with a similar situation in 2000, when the decision in Bush v. Gore landed President George W. Bush in the White House.
- Mother Jones reports,
Given Trump’s slide in the polls, a replay of 2000’s Bush v. Gore debacle could be the only way he wins. It’s not hard to imagine the court once again installing a Republican president; indeed, a number of conservative justices are steeped in this history. Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh worked on George W. Bush’s legal team during the 2000 Florida recount and successfully intervened to stop Democratic ballots from being counted. If confirmed, Barrett would be a third justice who worked for Republicans during the Florida recount, increasing the likelihood that the court, with a 6-3 conservative majority, would side with Trump in a post-election dispute, even if the facts and the law aren’t on the president’s side.
On her questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett said she “provided research and briefing assistance” on Bush v. Gore as a young associate with Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin. (The firm later merged with Baker Botts, run by longtime GOP powerbroker James Baker, who oversaw the recount for Bush.) “I worked on the case on location in Florida for about a week at the outset of the litigation,” she wrote.
- Further Barrett reportedly worked on two lesser known but nonetheless pivotal cases as well, which involved “mail ballots that were disputed by Democrats because of evidence that Republican operatives had altered incomplete absentee ballot request forms,” Mother Jones reported.
After the election, Democrats sued and sought to invalidate all 25,000 absentee ballots cast in the two Bush-friendly counties because they weren’t able to track which request forms had been changed. “These people were not entitled to ballots based on their applications,” says Edward Stafman, a lawyer who filed the legal challenge. “They only got them because they were Republicans.”
If the ballots had been thrown out, Al Gore would have easily overcome his 537-vote deficit to Bush. “This was 25,000 votes,” says Daryl Bristow, a lawyer from Baker Botts in Houston who represented the Bush-Cheney campaign in the two counties. “If we had lost those cases, we would’ve lost the presidency.”
- Bristow said he recalled Barrett working on the cases, saying “she was probably doing briefing work with regard to the various motions we were filing and legal arguments we were making.”
- Mother Jones concluded:
A 6-3 conservative majority with Barrett on the court could be a disaster for voting rights, potentially killing what’s left of the Voting Rights Act, upholding even more extreme gerrymandering, and giving a green light to virtually any effort by Republicans to make it harder to vote.
And if Barrett’s past work in Florida is any indication, she may be inclined to side with GOP interests in any dispute over how ballots should be counted, no matter what the law—or the GOP’s past support for voting by mail—has to say.