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The Florida Recount: Judge Upholds 5:00 P.M. Deadline For Certifying Vote Totals; Appeal ExpectedAired November 14, 2000 - 1:35 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The hour's top story, a ruling from a state court judge in Tallahassee, Florida upholding a 5:00 p.m. deadline for certifying Florida's presidential vote totals. In an eagerly awaited ruling, one that's certain to be appealed, the judge said Florida's secretary of state does have the right to reject vote totals from individual counties that miss today's deadline, but she cannot do so arbitrarily.
As you have probably heard, Secretary of State Katherine Harris is a Republican who campaigned for George W. Bush. Exempted from the deadline are those absentee ballots, many await from overseas, which have until Friday to show up and be counted.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: That circuit court ruling, as you heard Roger Cossack just say, will be -- if it hasn't been already -- appealed in the Florida Supreme Court.
CNN's Paul Caron is on the steps of the Florida Supreme Court.
Paul, has anything happened yet? And when it does, if it does, what's the process?
PAUL CARON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, nothing's happened here yet at the Florida Supreme Court. The first step in this procedure, according to a court spokesman, the legal papers for the appeal must first be filed in the state circuit court of appeals, which is literally right next door to the Florida Supreme Court. Once it's there, the procedure that must happen for it to come to the Supreme Court is called "pass-through" jurisdiction, where the court of appeals certifies this particular case or this appeal for a hearing in front of the Supreme Court.
Now, will it happen today at the Florida Supreme Court? In theory, it possibly could, but right now the court spokesman told me it's not likely to happen today. The one person who can expedite a case here at the Florida Supreme Court is its chief justice. Chief Justice Charles T. Wells of the Florida Supreme Court is in the building today. He can expedite the case if -- once he gets it from the court of appeals.
Once it does come here, there are many scenarios that could play out. It could go in front of all seven justices here. They are non- partisan. They are first named to the Florida Supreme Court by the governor, then they must run for that seat every six years.
So, Lou, in theory, yes, it could come to the Florida Supreme Court today, but it's all a matter of timing: how quickly it gets to the court of appeals, how quickly they can kick it over to the Supreme Court here next door. And then what happens, it could be played behind closed doors in judge's chambers, he could rule immediately on it, or it could go before a full seven-judge panel of the Florida Supreme Court.
And by the way, Lou...
... at the Florida Supreme Court they do allow a TV camera in there. So that is something we would be able to see once it all takes place if it happens in...
WATERS: All right, his cell phone kicking out there. Paul Caron giving us the essential story there that the papers are being prepared through an appeals court to end up in the Florida Supreme Court, which may or may not rule today, may or may not rule tomorrow. The chief justice is there waiting. A chief justice could say something -- something could happen today, maybe tomorrow, we don't know. I mean, a lot of what-ifs here, you know?
WATERS: It's confusing but it's happening.
ALLEN: It's all happening right now.
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