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Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
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DECEMBER 9, 2000
7:17 PM
CONTACT:  Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Frank E. Watkins W-202-225-0773
Supreme Court's Moral and Legal Authority Is At Stake
Statement By Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.
WASHINGTON - December 9 - Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling that put a stop to counting ballots throughout Florida and calling for oral arguments on Monday at 11am.

Congressman Jackson said, "The basis of politics and legal authority in the United States is the Constitution. The first words in the Preamble are "We the people." We the PEOPLE are the ultimate source of power and authority for our government. The people express their will through their vote. Democracy, as expressed through the peoples' vote, cannot be compromised over some narrowly conceived,"strict constructionist" interpretation that is technical in nature, nitpicking, and based on questionable legal technicalities. The will and intention of the voter, as best it can be discerned by machines, bipartisan hand counters and accompanying public witnesses must be the legal standard.

"In a democracy every vote counts and every vote must be counted.

"All Americans can live with votes counted for Gov. George W. Bush. But our democracy cannot live if the votes of the American people are not counted. An uncounted vote says to the American people that THEY don't count.

"If the Supreme Court's actions -- whatever that may ultimately turn out to be -- in the end, prohibit all votes cast from being fully, fairly and inclusively counted (to the degree humanly possible), then the Supreme Court will have discredited itself, lost much of its moral and legal authority, the Justices themselves will have contributed mightily to undermining the very institution they represent, and undermined the rule of law that they are sworn to uphold on behalf of the American people," Jackson concluded.


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