2020 and the shadow of Bush v. Gore

Ever since my colleague, Damon Linker, wrote his column about the possibility of a “2000 election on steroids,” I’ve been brooding about that scenario. While a clear victory by either Biden or Trump could still be followed by claims of widespread fraud or voter suppression, if the waters are sufficiently muddied before the count is complete such that no one can really say with confidence who won, the prospect of radical destabilization, and even the collapse of our system of government, becomes far more imaginable.

That’s not what happened in 2000, of course. Instead, the Supreme Court stepped in to halt the increasingly fraught and acrimonious recount process, effectively awarding the presidency to George W.



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