Well, here's one person you could ask:
Looking back, O'Connor said, she isn't sure the high court should have taken the case.
"It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue," O'Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. "Maybe the court should have said, 'We're not going to take it, goodbye.'"
The case, she said, "stirred up the public" and "gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation."
"Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision," she said. "It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn't done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day."Oh. And when did she come to that conclusion? Was it a nagging little sense that began when the case was brought that just got bigger over time? Or maybe, just maybe, was it something that rung like a bell during the administration of George W. Bush? (At any time. Pick any time, and there would have been an appropriate moment for reflection. Any time at all.)
Or was it one of those three a.m. realizations that fall like a shadow across the heart when you can't sleep and the mind won't shut off? You are mortal. You helped elect Bush.
Or was it just one of those funny old things. I still have hard feelings, but not for the decision alone--I still think Gore's attorney's could have questioned the deadline (you know, after all the fuckery with the stays and such) and insisted on the recount process as fair to the voters as a better remedial choice. (Whether Bush and Gore were receiving "equal treatment" from the process is just nonsense.) And no, I do not think I'll ever be entirely "over it" myself.