December 9th the SCOTUS stayed the recount by a decision of 5-4 in a judicially active conservative SCOTUS. Four justices (Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer) dissented as to stopping the recount.
"in their initial ruling that the Florida Supreme Court could not judge Florida election disputes with reference to the state constitution, only by reference to state statutes; in their order stopping the statewide manual recount because it might irreparably damage Bush, without regard for Gore; and in their final ruling that the conduct of that recount violated the Equal Protection Clause, and that further recounting was impossible because it had to be complete under Florida law by December 12, the day Bush v. Gore was handed down--each time the conservatives voted in favor of Bush."
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress..." Art. 2 US Constitution. Florida Supreme Court has jurisdiction over Florida state legislature. There really was no precedent for the SCOTUS to get involved in state election law disputes.
Palm Beach per curiam decision:
"It is fundamental that state courts be left free and unfettered by us in interpreting their state constitutions. But it is equally important that ambiguous or obscure adjudications by state courts do not stand as barriers to a determination by this Court of the validity under the federal constitution of state action. Intelligent exercise of our appellate powers compels us to ask for the elimination of the obscurities and ambiguities from the opinions in such cases." Id., at 557.
Specifically, we are unclear as to the extent to which the Florida Supreme Court saw the Florida Constitution as circumscribing the legislature's authority under Art. II, §1, cl. 2. We are also unclear as to the consideration the Florida Supreme Court accorded to 3 U. S. C. §5. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is therefore vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion."
"On November 14, the statutory deadline, the Florida Circuit Court ruled that the seven-day deadline was mandatory, but that the counties could amend their returns at a later date. The court also ruled that the Secretary, after "considering all attendant facts and circumstances," had discretion to include any late amended returns in the statewide certification.
[Bush v. Gore was based on violating Bush's equal protection rights. The decision came down according to Judge Scalia "the counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner Bush, and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election."
It definitely wasn't a liberal SCOTUS. I thought FLOTUS was the first lady of the US. Article 5 of the Florida constitution gives the Florida Supreme Court jurisdiction in resolving election disputes. The whole thing isn't worth going into for me. We were screwed when we got Bush more because of Nader than anything else. I never got into the Bush stole Florida thing and I'd rather not in general. It suffices that he never should have been re-elected and that bothers me more than anything.