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Special Event

Bush Attorney Ted Olson Holds News Briefing on Cases Before 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Aired December 5, 2000 - 10:42 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to go back to downtown Atlanta. This is Ted Olson, Bush attorney. Let's go ahead and listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

THEODORE OLSON, BUSH CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: The votes are counted in Florida. The selective manual recount process is inconsistent, unfair, involves changing standards and changing rules and is unconstitutional because it treats different citizens in a different way. It counts votes in a different manner. And we made those arguments to the court.

It's quite clear that the judges, all 12 of them, were very, very well prepared. They had read the briefs. They had studied the issues. They asked very intelligent, probing questions. And they indicated that they understood that this case is important and the expedition is important in the resolution of this case.

I have no way to predict what the outcome of the case will be or when we'll have a decision, but the court listened attentively to the lawyers representing both sides today, and we're all very grateful for that.

QUESTION: Were you encouraged by the comments of the judges?

OLSON: We are encouraged by the comments, in the sense that they had read the briefs, they studied the issues, they were very intelligent and probing questions. And the issues that are involved in this case will be heard by the judges. I'm sure we'll get a thoughtful decision.

QUESTION: But they also said that you're now disputing hand counts in Seminole and in Volusia and in Polk, and so you're not being systematic in your complaint.

OLSON: Well, as you know, as most of your viewers know, that there are different types of ballots, and there is different timetables and different concerns with respect to each of those counties. All of the counties that we never did challenge right from the beginning were those counties that finished the process according to the deadlines in Florida law and where there were procedures that processed the votes in different ways. We were challenging the process that you all been watching on television, where the same votes are being counted differently from day to day and according to shifting, constantly changing standards. Those are the issues we presented to the court.

QUESTION: Where's the irreparable harm, Mr. Olson, as you were asked upstairs?

OLSON: The irreparable harm, first of all, from the standpoint of voters, that if your vote is counted differently than someone else's vote, you are suffering right then and there. And each candidate has a right to the expectation that ballots will be counted fairly and evenly and consistently, according to rules set before the election. That is, in and of itself, a constitutional injury, and the courts have said that is a constitutional harm.

Furthermore, the battles over how votes will be counted in Florida are far from over. And, therefore, how these votes are counted could make a difference, conceivably, in the outcome of the election, and that is a very important issue as well.

Thank you.

KAGAN: A couple of comments there from protesters at end, but mainly we listened in to Ted Olson, who is an attorney for George W. Bush. He is there. Actually, he is right here in downtown Atlanta today at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, as that court takes on appeals of two lawsuits filed by two separate voters, challenging hand counts in the Florida presidential race.

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