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Trial judge feels vindicated by U.S. Supreme Court

judge m. sanders sauls
Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls  

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- The trial judge who ruled against a Gore campaign plea for hand counts of so-called "undervotes" in Florida feels vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case Tuesday night, his wife told CNN.

Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls, whose ruling against the vice president was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, "felt his opinion had been upheld," his wife, Cindy, said. "We feel good there's closure for our country."

She said her husband watched news coverage of the Supreme Court decision, concluded he'd been correct in his initial decision and promptly went to bed.

After the state Supreme Court reversed his ruling, Sauls recused himself from the case without saying why, forcing the county to appoint another judge to supervise the recount that was quickly halted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Tuesday night, Mrs. Sauls told CNN that he felt the ruling by the state's high court was unconstitutional. "I don't see why the court has the power to do that," the judge's wife quoted him as saying. "They are going against the Constitution of the U.S. I've got to recuse myself. I can't in good conscience go forward when I feel everything within me says it's against the (U.S.) Constitution."

Mrs. Sauls said her husband did not think it would be appropriate to explain his recusal until after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case.

"He didn't say it publicly at the time because he knew another judge would be assigned," she said. "Now he feels it's over."

Correspondent Art Harris in Atlanta contributed to this report


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Wednesday, December 13, 2000


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