Retired Justice O'Connor casts doubt on Bush v. Gore ruling

WASHINGTON Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:44am EDT

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor testifies at a hearing held to provide an update from the Alzheimer's Study Group on Capitol Hill in Washington March 25, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor testifies at a hearing held to provide an update from the Alzheimer's Study Group on Capitol Hill in Washington March 25, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has voiced some regret about the court's intervention in the hotly contested 2000 presidential election that went to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

O'Connor, 83, told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board that the high court "probably added to the problem" by taking up the case over a disputed Florida recount, which the high court in Florida had allowed to go ahead at Gore's request.

The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling, with O'Connor in the majority, ended the recount and led to Bush's election victory. O'Connor, appointed to the court by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981, retired in 2006.

In the remarks on Friday, she told the paper that although election authorities in Florida "kind of messed it up," paving the way for the Bush campaign to ask the Supreme Court to intervene, the justices' role in deciding the election "gave the court a less-than-perfect" reputation."

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Mohammad Zargham)

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