American democracy relies on a social contract that places a great deal of trust in the checks and balances of the three branches of government, and in a news media often considered  a fourth branch. In the common understanding of those checks and balances, Congress makes the laws, the president and his Cabinet implement and enforce them, the courts ensure that justice is delivered consistently, fairly, and equitably in accordance with the Constitution, and the media holds the other three branches accountable. Or at least that’s the way the system is supposed to work.

Politics inevitably creeps into this system, especially when circumstances create opportunities for elected officials to take advantage of its inadequacies. It is a system that has long been described as a work in progress. At various times, its weaknesses have resulted in the weaponizing of one or more of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and the media to further the political goals of one party over another.

We see this in the back-and-forth struggle over executive power, as presidents have sought to expand the authority of their position and Congress has tried to rein it in, as it did when it blocked President Roosevelt’s effort to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. At different times, the Supreme Court has ruled in support of executive power and against it, as reflected in Korematsu v. the United States and Youngstown v. Sawyer, respectively. Given the political tensions over abolition and slavery in the 1840 presidential race, Vice President Tyler’s assertion of his right to assume the full authority of the presidency upon President Harrison’s death – a succession process that was not fully defined by the Constitution – established an important precedent for maintaining stability in the executive branch and the power of the president.

Much of our political history is defined by the struggle between groups of citizens whose visions have sometimes differed substantially in terms of what the country should look like and who its democratic systems should serve. The presidential election of 1800 is one of our earliest examples of this divide. An oversight in the Constitution and the evolution of two political parties representing fundamentally opposing views of federal government led to the mobilizing of militias in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Ensuing negotiations found a middle ground between the two partisan perspectives and avoided a military clash that many feared would do irreparable damage to the young republic. The resulting compromise was part of a pattern of policy-making that prioritized preservation of the union over other, potentially contentious issues.

In practice, the preference for union over confrontation meant that the divisive issue of slavery versus abolition was typically left unresolved, and the land claims of the Cherokee Nation and other American Indian nations were often ignored. The Dred Scott decision in 1857 broke that pattern of compromise. The Supreme Court ruling in this case heightened tensions between the slave-holding South and the abolition-minded North and set the nation on a course to civil war. Following the Civil War and the end of Reconstruction, the desire to avoid further conflict meant turning a blind eye to Jim Crow and numerous abuses heaped on Black, Brown, and Indigenous populations.

Compromise has been, in practice, a cornerstone of our system’s success and the nation’s growth. But it’s come at the cost of delaying an inevitable reckoning, first in the form of a civil war, then again in the often violent battle for civil rights in the 1950s and 60s. When compromise fails to deliver on the promise of democracy and equal opportunity to entire segments of our citizenry, time after time, it becomes a matter of when – not if – anger and resentment explode into demands for immediate solutions. With the vast increase in income and wealth inequality since 1980, unprecedented levels of immigration, efforts to suppress minority voting in several states, and growing awareness of how justice is forcefully and unequally applied, we appear to be approaching the point of a third such reckoning.

The earlier periods of civil disruption and bloodshed produced landmark advances in the rights of non-White citizens. It’s fair to ask some questions at this point: Is bloodshed a necessary part of American advancement towards the self-evident truth that all men and women are created equal? Can these extreme swings of the pendulum be contained so as to further reduce, if not avoid, bloodshed? Can the tensions that arise from opposing views be channeled, if not reconciled, into finding creative solutions to our systemic problems that make our democratic society even more sustainable than it has already proven to be?

Our storyline, in its current form, only scratches the surface of the history in question. But the 13 crises included here illustrate how justice and the rule of law that our social contract demands are perpetually challenged by the need to adapt to the nation’s changing circumstances and the frequent political manipulations of the branches of government to serve partisan objectives. These 13 crises suggest that the checks and balances of the system falter when the people in authority lack Constitutional guidance, ignore the law, or fail to follow established processes in pursuit of partisan interests. Yet, our Constitution and the rule of law endure because others have willingly stepped forward to adapt and defend them for the public good – a term that has, over the long arc of history, grown more inclusive.

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

— Judge Learned Hand, “The Spirit of Liberty” speech, 1944

Law and Politics Timeline

  • The Election of 1800

    An Electoral College tie in the race for president and the emergence of competing national political factions threatened to destabilize the country. In the end, the conflict surrounding this election’s outcome was resolved, sending a message to the country and to the world that the novel American experiment of republican government could endure.
  • Worcester v. Georgia

    The anti-Native agenda supported by the combined force of the executive and legislative branches threatened the nascent doctrine of judicial review.
  • John Tyler and Presidential Succession

    The Constitution specifies very little about presidential succession. The death of President William Henry Harrison set in motion events that established a precedent observed for more than a century.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    In the case Dred Scott v. Sanford, the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not citizens and could not be free unless their owners freed them.This highly controversial decision undermined decades of compromise and set the country on a path toward civil war.
  • Secession and Civil War

    Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Southern states attempted to secede from the Union for fear that Lincoln would abolish slavery. Believing secession to be illegal, Lincoln chose to go to war against these states to preserve the Union.
  • The “Election” of Rutherford B. Hayes

    Congress created an electoral commission to determine the winner of the 1876 election when neither candidate received a clear majority of electoral votes. The media and general public viewed the method by which the Electoral Commission determined the decision – the Compromise of 1877 – as highly partisan and undemocratic. 
  • Roosevelt’s Court Packing Plan

    Faced by a Supreme Court that repeatedly struck down New Deal legislation, President Roosevelt attempted to circumvent the Court’s opposition with a proposal to add up to six new, and presumably more sympathetic, justices.
  • Lend Lease Act

    Relying on executive prerogative, President Roosevelt used the complex and legally dubious memorandum of his attorney general to justify the lease of destroyer ships to Great Britain, which contributed to a rise in executive power.
  • Japanese Internment

    Racial prejudice and deference to executive authority during a time of national crisis led to the Supreme Court’s sanctioning of the military internment of American citizens in the Korematsu decision.
  • Youngstown v. Sawyer

    Following a broad exercise of executive power in a time of war, the Supreme Court put forth a framework limiting the power of the president relative to Congress.
  • Watergate

    Facing Congressional and special prosecutor investigations into a crime he directed, President Nixon broadly asserted executive privilege and obstructed justice to obscure the truth, leading to an impeachment inquiry and, eventually, his resignation.
  • The Clinton Impeachment

    An impeachment pursued by a new brand of Republican politicians set new norms for the impeachment process, demonstrated how popularity can shield presidents from oversight, and displayed how partisanship influences the interactions between the branches of government.
  • The 2000 Presidential Election

    The 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was one of the closest elections in American history and was ultimately determined by the votes in Florida. Only 537 votes separated the candidates, forcing a controversial recount that was only resolved when the Supreme Court ruled the recount unconstitutional. With this decision, George W. Bush was awarded Florida’s electoral votes and declared the winner. Despite lingering concerns and even though he had won the popular vote nationally, Al Gore conceded the election, and the public accepted Bush as their new president. 


The URLs included with the sources below were good links when we published. However, as third party websites are updated over time, some links may be broken. We do not update these broken links. If you are interested in the source, it may be possible to find it by copying and pasting the URL into a search on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. From the search results, be sure to choose a date from around the time our article was published.

The Election of 1800

“12th Amendment”, National Constitution Center,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

Andrew Shankman, “How Should We Think About the Election of 1800?”, Journal of the Early Republic, Winter 2013, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

James Roger Sharp, “American Politics in the Early Republic”, Yale University Press, 1993, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Jill Lepore, “Party Time”, The New Yorker, September 10, 2007,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Joanne B. Freeman, “The Election of 1800: A Study in the Logic of Political Change”, The Yale Law Journal, Jun. 1999, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Mel Laracey, “The Presidential Newspaper as an Engine of Early American Political Development: The Case of Thomas Jefferson and the Election of 1800”, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Spring 2008, downloaded Nov 15, 2020

Office of the Historian: United States House of Representatives,  “Electoral College and Indecisive Elections”, History, Art, and Archives: United States House of Representatives,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

Peter A Coclanis, “Tracking the Economic Divergence of the North and South”, Southern Cultures, Winter 2000,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

Peter Feuerherd, “The First Ugly Election: America 1800”, JSTOR Daily, July 4, 2016,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

“The Compromise of 1790”, National Archives, May 31, 2015,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

“The Federalist and the Republican Party”, PBS,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

“The Formation of Political Parties: The Alien and Sedition Acts”, National Archives,, accessed Nov 15, 2020

Worcester v Georgia

Bethany Berger, “Trump wasn’t the first president to confront the Supreme Court – and back down”, The Conversation, July 17, 2019,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Edwin A. Miles, “After John Marshall’s Decision: Worcester v. Georgia and the Nullification Crisis”, The Journal of Southern History, Nov. 1973, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

“Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents in American History”, Library of Congress,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“John Marshall”, Oyez,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Judicial Review”, Legal Information Institute, June 10, 2019,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Matthew L. Sundquist, “Worcester v. Georgia: A Breakdown in the Separation of Powers”, American Indian Law Review, 2010-2011, downloaded Nov 15, 2020

Milner S. Ball, “John Marshall and Indian Nations in the Beginning and Now”, The John Marshall Law Review, Summer 2000, pg. 1185, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

“Nullification Crisis”, American Battlefield Trust,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Office of the Historian, “Indian Treaties and the Removal Act of 1830”, US Department of State,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Tim Alan Garrison, “The Legal Ideology of Removal”, University of Georgia Press, 2002, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

“Trail of Tears”, Britannica,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Worcester v. Georgia”, Oyez,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

John Tyler and Presidential Succession

Callie Hopkins, “John Tyler and Presidential Succession”, The White House Historical Association,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“John Tyler, Tenth Vice President”, U.S. Senate,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies?”, The White House Historical Association,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“25th Amendment”, Cornell Law School,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Dred Scott Decision

Alix Oswald, “The Reaction to the Dred Scott Decision”, Chapman University,, accessed Sep 2, 2020

“Before Dred Scott: History of Freedom Suits in Antebellum Missouri,” Missouri Digital Heritage,, accessed Nov. 3, 2020

“Dred Scott’s Fight for Freedom”, PBS,, accessed Sep 2, 2020

“Dred Scott v. Sandford,” Oyez,, accessed Nov. 3, 2020

Melvin I. Urofsky, “Dred Scott Decision”, Britannica,, accessed Sep 8, 2020

“Missouri Compromise”,Library of Congress,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Missouri’s Dred Scott Case”, Missouri Digital Heritage,, accessed Sep 8, 2020

Secession and Civil War

“A Look Into the Constitutional Understanding of Slavery”, Ashbrook Center,, accessed Sep 2, 2020

“Abraham Lincoln Biography”, American Battlefield Trust,, accessed Aug 15, 2020

Akhil Reed Amar, “America’s Constitution: A Biography”, Random House,, 39, accessed Sep 1, 2020

“Civil War Facts”, American Battlefield Trust,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Compromise of 1850, Britannica,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Fugitive Slave Clause: Doctrine and Practice, Constitution Annotated,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

Jake Flannigan, “For the Last Time, the American Civil War Was Not About States’ Rights”, Quartz,, accessed Aug 15, 2020

“Landmark Legislation: Thirteenth, Fourteenth, & Fifteenth Amendments”, United States Senate,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Michel Martin, What the Emancipation Proclamation Didn’t Do”, National Public Radio,, accessed Sep 1, 2020

“Missouri Compromise”, Britannica,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Secession: Why Lincoln Feared it was the End of Democracy”, National Park Service,, accessed Sep 1, 2020

“Slavery, the Constitution, and a Lasting Legacy”, Montpelier,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Texas v. White et al.”, Legal Information Institute,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“The Emancipation Proclamation”, National Archives,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Three-fifths Compromise”, Britannica,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

The “Election” of Rutherford B. Hayes

Ari Hoogenboom, “Rutherford B. Hayes: Campaigns and Elections”, UVA Miller Center,, accessed Sep 1, 2020

“Civil Rights Act of 1964”, United States Senate,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“FAQs about the 1876 Disputed Election”, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Melvin I. Urofsky, “Jim Crow Law”, Britannica,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

N.R. Kleinfield, “President Tilden? No, but Almost, in Another Vote That Dragged On”, New York Times,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Reconstruction”, Britannica,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Rutherford B. Hayes”, The White House,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876”, University of Houston,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“The Senate Passes the Voting Rights Act”, United States Senate,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

Roosevelt’s Court Packing Plan

Aaron Xavier Fellmeth, “A Divorce Waiting to Happen: Franklin Roosevelt and the Law of Neutrality, 1935-1941”, Buffalo Journal of International Law, 1996, pg. 467,, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Gregory A. Caldeira, “Public Opinion and the U.S. Supreme Court: FDR’s Court-Packing Plan”, JSTOR,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“How FDR lost his brief war on the Supreme Court”, National Constitution Center,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo”, Oyez,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

Olivia B. Waxman, “Some Democrats Want to Make the Supreme Court Bigger. Here’s the History of Court Packing”, Time Magazine,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Richard D. Friedman, “Chief Justice Hughes’ Letter on Court-packing”, University of Michigan Law School,, accessed Sep 4, 2020

William E. Leuchtenburg, “When Franklin Roosevelt Clashed with the Supreme Court– And Lost”, Smithsonian Magazine,, accessed on Aug 4, 2020

Lend Lease Program

Aaron Xavier Fellmeth, “A Divorce Waiting to Happen: Franklin Roosevelt and the Law of Neutrality, 1935-1941”, Buffalo Journal of International Law, 1996,, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Anthony Rhodes, “Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War II”, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1976, accessed Sept. 4, 2020

“Fact File: Destroyers for Bases Deal”, BBC, June 2003,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Hans Aufricht, “Presidential Power to Regulate Commerce and Lend-Lease Transactions”, The Journal of Politics, Feb 1944, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

James M. Lindsay, “TWE Remembers: The Destroyers for Bases Deal”, Council on Foreign Relations, Sept 2, 2011,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Office of the Attorney General, “Opinion on Exchange of Over-Age Destroyers for Naval and Air Bases”, Robert H. Jackson Center,, accessed Aug 10, 2020

Robert J. Delahunty, “Robert Jackson’s Opinion on the Destroyer Deal and the Question of Presidential Prerogative”, Vermont Law Review, 2014, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Warren F. Kimball, “The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939–1941”, Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University, 1969, accessed Sept. 4, 2020

William E. Leuchtenburg, “Franklin D. Roosevelt: Foreign Affairs”, The Miller Center at The University of Virginia,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Japanese Internment

Debra Cassens Weiss, “Scalia: Korematsu was wrong, but ‘you are kidding yourself’ if you think it won’t happen again”, ABA Journal, February 4, 2014,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Korematsu v. United States.”, Oyez,, accessed Aug 4,  2020

NCC Staff, “A Controversial Executive Order Leads to Internment Camps”, National Constitution Center, Feb 19, 2020,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Radiolab, “Radiolab Presents: More Perfect – American Pendulum 1”, WNYC Studios, Oct 2, 2017,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Scott Bomboy, “Did the Supreme Court Just Overrule the Korematsu Decision?”, National Constitution Center, June 26, 2018,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Toni Konkoly, “Korematsu v. United States (1944)”, PBS: Thirteen,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

“Transcript of Executive Order 9066: Resulting in the Relocation of Japanese (1942)”, History Matters,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

United States, “Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians”, Washington, D.C: The Commission, 1983,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Youngstown v Sawyer

“Concurring opinion, Youngstown v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (June 2, 1952)”, Robert H. Jackson Center,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Defense Production Act”, FEMA, July 30, 2020,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Donald R. Richberg, “The Steel Seizure Cases”, Virginia Law Review, Oct 1952, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

“Executive Order 10340”, National Archives: Harry S. Truman Library and Museum,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Joshua Wamberg, “Youngstown Steel: The Supreme Court stands up to the President”, National Constitution Center, November 16, 2015,, accessed Aug 10, 2020

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U. S. 579 (1952).

“Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer”, Oyez,, accessed Nov 16, 2020


Amelia Thomson DeVeaux, “It took a long time for Republicans to abandon Nixon”, Five-Thirty-Eight, October 9, 2019,, accessed August 31, 2020

Andrew Kohut, “From the archives: How the Watergate crisis eroded public support for Richard Nixon”, Pew Research Center, Sept 25, 2019,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Archibald Cox, “Watergate and the US Constitution”, British Journal of Law and Society, Summer 1975, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

“Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission”, Oyez,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

The Editors, “The Press and Watergate”, The Nation, Mar 25, 2009,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Fred Smoller, “Watergate Revisited”, Political Science and Politics, June 1992, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

George Lardner Jr., “Cox is Chosen as Special Prosecutor”, Washington Post, May 19, 1973,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang, “Polling on Watergate: The Battle for Public Opinion”, The Public Opinion Quarterly, Winter 1980, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

“Independent Counsel”,,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

John A. Farrell, “With the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon Miscalculated. Will Trump?”, Politico Magazine, Feb 3, 2018,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

John W. Dean and James Robenalt, “The Legacy of Watergate”, Litigation, Spring 2012, downloaded Nov 16, 2020

Jordan Moran, “Nixon and the Pentagon Papers”, UVA: Miller Center,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Ken Hughes, “A Rough Guide to Richard Nixon’s Conspiracy Theories”, UVA: Miller Center,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Mark J. Rozell, “‘The Law’: Executive Privilege: Definition and Standards of Application, Presidential Studies Quarterly, December 1999, downloaded August 12, 2020

Mark Stencel, “Watergate 25: The Reforms”, Washington Post, June 13, 2020,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

NCC Staff, “Looking Back: The Supreme Court Decision that Ended Nixon’s Presidency”, National Constitution Center, July 24, 2020,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Nixon and Abusing Power: ‘The Saturday Night Massacre”, PBS,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978”, National Archives,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“The Nixon Tapes”,,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Todd Garvey, “Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice, and Recent Developments”, Congressional Research Service, Dec 15, 2014,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Tom van der Voort, “Watergate: The Break-In”, UVA: Miller Center,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

The Clinton Impeachment

Adam Clymer, “To Gingrich, Elections this Year are like ‘Whitewater Canoeing’”, The New York Times, October 25, 1996,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Alison Mitchell, “Gingrich Defends Starr as Lott Urges him to ‘Show His Cards’”, The New York Times, March 8 1998,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Andrew Glass, “Congress Runs into ‘Republican Revolution’ Nov. 8 1994”, Politico, Nov 8, 2007,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Andrew Glass, “House Votes to Impeach Clinton, Oct. 8 1998”, Politico, Oct 8, 2007,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Aug 19, 1998: President Clinton Admits ‘improper relationship’ with Monica Lewinsky’, ABC News,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

C-SPAN, “Whitewater Republican News Conference”, March 24, 1994,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Natasha Hritzuk, “Presidential Power”, Columbia University Press, August 2000, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

David E. Rosenbaum, Has Whitewater Become a Witch Hunt?”, New York Times, January 26, 1998,, accessed Sept 7, 2020

Drew Desilver, “Clinton’s Impeachment barely dented his public support, and it turned off many Americans”, Pew Research Center, Oct 3, 2019,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Drew Desilver, “The polarized Congress of today has its roots in the 1970s”, Pew Research Center, June 12, 2014,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Jeremy Hobson, “How Newt Gingrich Shaped the Republican Party”, WBUR, July 7, 2020,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Jonathan Weisman, “Clinton Acquitted”, Baltimore Sun, February 13, 1999,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

“Kenneth Starr”, PBS,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

Leonard V. Kaplan and Beverly I. Moran, “Aftermath: The Clinton Impeachment and the Presidency in the Age of Political Spectacle”, Critical America, 2001, accessed Nov 16, 2020

H. LaRue, “The Story About Clinton’s Impeachment”, Law and Contemporary Problems, Winter-Spring 2020, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

Mark V. Tushnet, “Aftermath: The Clinton Impeachment and the Presidency in the Age of Political Spectacle”, NYU Press, 2001, downloaded Aug 4, 2020

McKay Coppins, “Newt Gingrich Says You’re Welcome, The Atlantic, October 17, 2018,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Washington Post , “Whitewater Timeline”, 1998,, accessed Sept. 7, 2020

Michael J. Gerhardt, “The Historical and Constitutional Significance of the Impeachment and Trial of President Clinton”, Hofstra Law Review, 1999,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Peter Boyer, “Good Newt, Bad Newt”, Vanity Fair, July 1989,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

“Whitewater Special Report: Time Line (1995-1998)”, Washington Post, 1998,, accessed Nov 16, 2020

The 2000 Presidential Election

Alan Agresti and Brett Presnell, “Misvotes, Undervotes and Overvotes: The 2000 Presidential Election in Florida”, Institute of Mathematical Statistics,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Bush v. Gore”, Britannica,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Daniel P. Tokaji, “An Unsafe Harbor: Recounts, Contests, and the Electoral College,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

“Election of President and Vice President”, National Constitution Center,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

“Election 2000: Before and After”, National Conference of State Legislatures,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Elspeth Reeve, “Just How Bad Was Bush v. Gore?”, The Atlantic,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Ford Fessenden, “Florida List for Purge of Voters Proves Flawed”, New York Times,, accessed Sep 8, 2020

“Interpretation: Elections Clause”, National Constitution Center,, accessed Aug 23, 2020

Joseph Carroll, “Seven out of 10 Americans Accept Bush as Legitimate President”, Gallup,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Ron Elving, “The Florida Recount of 2000: A Nightmare That Goes on Haunting”, NPR,, accessed Aug 4, 2020

Sarah Childress, “Local Election Officials Resist Florida’s Efforts to Purge Voter Rolls”, PBS,, accessed Sep 8, 2020

“The Election of 1824”, Bill of Rights Institute,, accessed Nov 25, 2020

Thomas E. Mann, “Reflections on the 2000 Presidential Election”, Brookings Institute,, accessed Aug 4, 2020


Related Pages: Voting Rights, Expansion of Voting Rights

Contributors: George Linzer, Natasha Raman, Colin Fennelly

Reviewed by: Judge John Mott

Published on: November 30, 2020

Please support our work

We are committed to covering
the growing effort to solve problems
for the public good.