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At 10 p.m. Tuesday night the Supreme Court effectively handed the contested presidential election to Bush in a 5-4 ruling that overturned the Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow a recount of the state's disputed votes to proceed. The majority opinion of the nation's highest court said there was no time to manually tabulate the votes in Florida.
In a stunning blow to his race for the presidency, the clearly divided Supreme Court derailed Democratic Vice President Al Gore's bid for the White House. Gore was expected to make a concession statement Wednesday evening after suspending his Florida recount committee early in the day.
"This ruling was politically disappointing and disappointingly political," said a dismayed U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). "We were anticipating that the Supreme Court would give a clear and unambiguous sense of direction that this clearly divided nation could live with. They have failed."
Ackerman said the country now has a politically divided Supreme Court along with a divided House of Representatives, a divided U.S. Senate and a divided nation.
After five weeks of a high stakes sparring match between Bush and Gore played out in courtrooms and voting districts, some Queens residents were concerned about the country's ability to pull together in face of the strong convictions held by both sides in the prolonged battle.
Bayside resident Roseanne Henry, who had heard the initial reports Tuesday night about the Supreme Court ruling from newscasters who were struggling to determine what it meant, was amazed the decision turned out to be devastating for Gore when she woke up Wednesday morning.
"I guess I'm disappointed. I'm a Gore supporter," she said as she waited for a train to Manhattan at the Bayside railroad station. "No one has been able to do anything in a non-partisan way. It seems everyone has got an agenda. It hasn't been fair and I'm disappointed."
Bush supporter Patrick Duggan of Bayside said he agreed with the Supreme Court's decision and thought the original vote recount in Florida should have stood. He said the challenges by the Gore campaign and the Democratic Party over the manual recount were ridiculous.
"We are the laughing stock of the world," Duggan said. "I supported Bush, but I don't think he can unify the country."
John Nick of Whitestone who was buying a newspaper on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, said the Supreme Court made the right decision. The court decided the recount was unconstitutional and based its ruling on the unconstitutionality of the recount.
"They decided there was no remedy," he said "This was a joke because there was no standard. As far as I'm concerned, Bush can unify the country after all this."
Theodore Anderson, who lives in Auburndale, was glad the election process appeared to be over but was concerned that Bush would not be able to bring both of the parties together. He said concessions will have to be made to unite the country.
Bayside resident Matt Kaiser said he was not upset over the Supreme Court's decision but was angered about the amount of time it took to resolve who had won the election.
"I voted for Gore, but it looks like Bush is the winner," he said "I don't think he can unify the country after all this. Both of them will lose on this deal."
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
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