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Breaking News

Leon County Circuit Court Holds Briefing on Decisions in Presidential Election Cases

Aired December 8, 2000 - 12:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to take you down to Leon County now, where we are hearing from the spokesperson there in these judicial proceedings to find out exactly what is taking place.

Terry Cass, let's listen in.

DOUG SMITH, LEON COUNTY COURT SPOKESMAN: The question was can we explain the delay. One of the judges, who I'm not going to tell which judge it is, but one of the judges needs more time to finish her ruling.

QUESTION: Yes.

SMITH: And...

(LAUGHTER)

That is absolutely the reason why. She says, "I need more time." And obviously she wants to make it -- he wants to make it right, she, it, the others wants to make it right.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SMITH: Once again, I've not had the opportunity to pose that question to the judges, as to whether or not there have been any consultation. They certainly have shared some views in the past, but I don't know whether or not they have since last night to this morning.

QUESTION: They brought the attorneys. Why'd they bring them in?

SMITH: We brought the attorneys in as a courtesy to the attorneys. Typically, if you guys were not all around, we would notify the parties before we release it to the general public essentially what the essence of the ruling was. Obviously, in this case we have an enormous number of attorneys, but we still would like to give them that same privilege before we release it to the rest of the world.

And we ask that you accommodate that request for us as best as possible.

QUESTION: Why would you bring the attorneys, if they're not finished with the opinions?

TERRE CASS, LEON COUNTY COURT ADMINISTRATOR: Well, because we thought that -- we were working under the same assumption all of you were that there was going to be a ruling. And that's why the parties were brought in.

So they understand that there will not be one until a little later this afternoon, 2:15. And the parties will be back then.

QUESTION: Is there a ruling in one of the...

CASS: Not that we know of.

SMITH: Right.

QUESTION: Are the attorneys going to be commenting?

CASS: Yes, they're here. The attorneys are here, so they may very well be commenting.

SMITH: I'm certain they will.

CASS: OK.

SMITH: Yes. We've asked that they come down here if they have any questions.

CASS: Thank you very much.

SMITH: We'll be back at 2:15. Thank you. I apologize.

SESNO: Brief announcement from the Leon County Courthouse as to why the delay, and what had been advertised as a 12:30 announcement, the delay because Judge Nikki Clark, and Judge Nikki Clark was ruling in the Seminole County case, where some 10,000 ballots, absentee ballot are up for dispute, because of alleged corrections made in the absentee ballot application forms. She says she wants some more time. We are hearing from Doug Smith there and Terry Cass that they want get it right. One can understand that given the circumstances and the stakes here.

The attorneys drawn in, they have been given some briefing already, and we expect in about an hour and-a-half or more, because this will be delayed until after 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, to be hearing from them officially as to what the determinations and decision are.

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