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Release date: Nov. 29, 2000
Contact: Nancy Seideman, Director, 404-727-0640, or nseidem@emory.edu

Emory Law and Political Experts Watch "Very Fluid" Situation Along With the Nation In Awaiting Election Results

o Supreme Court watcher David Garrow, (author of "Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade") says that it's likely the U.S. Supreme Court will unanimously reverse the Florida Supreme Court's ruling that allowed the state's election recounts to continue. Garrow, a regular contributor of national media commentary on contemporary legal and political history, says he has noticed a growing case of writer burn-out on the presidential election issues, as well as a growing sense that the political winners may be losers in the long run. Garrow can be reached at 404-727-0100.

o Federal courts expert Richard Freer says that even if the U.S. Supreme Court is favoring an overturn of the Florida Supreme Court ruling, the highest court could delay its own ruling until Gore's state court challenges wrap up Dec. 12. Freer points out that a delayed ruling could render the legal situation "very fluid." Reach Freer at 404-727-6838.

o Legal historian Polly Price, who has written about the political nature of courts, says only a few times in recent years has the Supreme Court seen so much focus on a single case (i.e. Brown v. Board of Education, United States v. Nixon). And whatever the differences among the justices, she says, the court historically has recognized the importance of standing together in decisive moments. Reach Price at 404-727-7869.

o Political scientist Christopher Zorn says that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling could have larger implications than just this election. "If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the power of the Florida Supreme Court to modify state legislation on federal elections is extremely limited, that could have implications for such cases in the future." He adds that he and fellow Supreme Court observers are surprised the court agreed to hear the case in the first place, since the court has been so favorably inclined towards affirming states' authority during the last decade. Contact Zorn at 404-727-6615 or czorn@emory.edu.

o National political election experts Merle Black and Alan Abramowitz, whose research focuses on voting behavior and patterns, continue to field local, national and international media inquiries on the future of the U.S. electoral process. Reach Black at 404-727-6570, and Abramowitz at 404-727-0108.

o And when we finally do have a president-elect, how will he govern with a nearly evenly split U.S. Congress, not to mention the electorate? Congressional expert Randall Strahan is available to discuss this issue, as well as the implications for the mid-term elections. Strahan can be reached at 404-727-7913.


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