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Bush v. Gore (2000)

Did the United States Supreme Court correctly decide Bush v. Gore (2000)?

  • Students understand the major events during the 2000 presidential election in Florida.
  • Students analyze constitutional principles at issue in Bush v. Gore.
  • Students analyze applications of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Students evaluate the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore.

  1. United States Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (1789)
  2. The Fourteenth Amendment (1868)
  3. FL Stat. Title IX ch.101.5614(5) Canvass of Returns (2000)
  4. Florida Statute Title IX, Chapter 102: 102.168(8) Contest of Election (1999)
  5. Florida Statutes Title IX, Chapter 102: Deadline for submission of county returns to the Department of State (2000)
  6. Florida Supreme Court Decision in Palm Beach County Canvassing Board v. Katherine Harris, November 21, 2000
  7. Gore v. Harris, Majority Opinion, Florida Supreme Court, December 8, 2000
  8. Election Workers Check Ballots in Broward County, Florida
  9. Oral Arguments (Bush), Bush v. Gore )2000)
  10. Oral Arguments (Gore), Bush v. Gore (2000)
  11. Bush v. Gore (2000), Majority Opinion
  12. Bush v. Gore (2000), Dissenting Opinion, Justice Stevens
  13. Bush v. Gore (2000), Dissenting Opinion, Justice Breyer
  14. Stu’s Views (2002)

Read the background essay. Then, using Documents A-N and your own knowledge of history and current events, evaluate the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore.

Presidential elections have been very close or disputed in 1800, 1824, 1876, 1888, and 1960, but the closest election of all occurred in 2000. The controversy of the 2000 election was not at the national level, but in a single state. After the United States Supreme Court halted a statewide manual recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, Florida’s electoral votes—and the Presidency—went to George W. Bush. In this lesson, students will explore the statutes, arguments, and court decisions that led to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Finally, they will evaluate the Court’s decision in one of the most controversial rulings in our history.

Student Handouts