Kate Snow evaluates Thursday's Florida Supreme Court hearing
CNN Correspondent Kate Snow is in Tallahassee, covering the Gore contest appeal before the Florida Supreme Court.
Q: Much is converging on the Florida Supreme Court Thursday. Can you elaborate on that pivotal legal battle?
SNOW: The big event at the Florida Supreme Court will be at 10 a.m. Thursday when the seven justices of the court will hear oral arguments in the case of the Gore contest, in which Gore is contesting results from Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Nassau counties. You'll recall that Judge N. Sanders Sauls on Monday issued a ruling very much against Al Gore.
Gore's legal team appealed that ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Gore's team filed a 53-page brief; Texas Gov. George W. Bush's team filed a 47-page brief. And there's an awful lot of paperwork filed by many, many parties about this case.
Thursday, we will hear for a half-hour from the Bush side; they will also share some of that time with Joseph Klock, who represents Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. The Gore side will get 30 minutes to make their case.
... What's really interesting about Thursday's arguments: It's really all coming down to a half-hour each between both sides' two star attorneys, Barry Richard for the Republicans and David Boies for the Democrats. Then, this court takes it under advisement.
Q: Is the court expected to rule fairly quickly?
SNOW: There's no telling on that, but certainly the court is treating this expeditiously. They recognize the importance of the matter.
Q: What's the breakdown of the seven justices?
SNOW: Six of the seven justices were appointed by Democratic governors. The latest appointee, Peggy Quince, was a co-appointment by both Lawton Chiles, the late Democratic governor, and Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican.
The other six were appointed either by Chiles or former Gov. Bob Graham.
The Republican-dominated state legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush have frequently clashed with the state Supreme Court. The Republican legislature often accuses the court of having a left bent to it.
Of course, outside observers talk about the court as a very fair-minded, even and non-political court.
Q: Will cameras be allowed in the courtroom?
SNOW: Absolutely. Florida has a sunshine law. Just like two weeks ago when we saw oral arguments before this same court, we will see it all live again Thursday.