Bugliosi and Dershowitz on Good Morning America 7/9/01
- Looking Back at Election 2000
Two Attorneys/Authors Review Supreme Court's Role in Presidential
N E W Y O R K, July 9 The Supreme Court's decision in Bush vs.
Gore confounded some critics in the field of law. Two of them, Alan
Dershowitz, author of Supreme Injustice and Vincent Bugliosi, author
of The Betrayal of America, tell ABCNEWS' Charlie Gibson what they
think about the Court's handling of the historic case.
The following is an uncorrected, unedited transcipt of Charles
Gibson's interview with Alan Dershowitz and Vincent Bugliosi on
ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
ABCNEWS' CHARLES GIBSON: As everyone knows, the Supreme Court's term
recently ended, and it is a term that will always be remembered for
one case, and really one case only, Bush vs. Gore, the case that
decided the American presidency. Two new books compare that decision,
in their words, to a "hijacking" and a "betrayal." Alan Dershowitz,
author of "Supreme Injustice" is joining us here in New York this
morning. And Vincent Bugliosi, author of "The Betrayal of America."
And they both do join us now. I'm trying to think as I looked at
these books of a punch you guys pulled. I don't think there was one
anywhere. You say the court cheated the country, stole the election.
You compare them to white collar criminals. You call them the
felonious five, The majority in this case and you say some acted for
personal gain. That's strong stuff, so back it up.
ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR SUPREME INJUSTICE: First of all, it is an
obligation of lawyers to tell the truth. And many lawyers around the
country are saying what Vince and I are saying. We just published it.
We've had the guts to put it down and prove it. On this show, the
morning after the election, I promised your viewers, that I would not
let go of this because to me this was most outrageous and
disappointing decision and in "Supreme Injustice" I went through 500
opinions of these justices and I proved conclusively that if the shoe
had been on the other foot, if Gore had been ahead by a few hundred
votes and Bush needed the recount, these five justices would have
ruled the other way. That's the most serious accusation you can make
against justices. It violates their oath of office to administer
justice with regard to person. And I prove it by documentary evidence
in this Supreme Injustice.
GIBSON: You say either way they were going to give this to Bush.
Whether Gore had been ahead or whether Bush had been ahead.
DERSHOWITZ: The constant was Bush wins. The variable was the law. And
that's what I prove in Supreme Injustice.
VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AUTHOR THE BETRAYAL OF AMERICA: Well Charlie, a
preferatory remark. I will stake my prosecutorial reputation on the
fact that within the pages of this book, The Betrayal of America,
which is out in trade paperback now. And incidentally, next Sunday
night number four on the New York--on the New York Times best seller
GIBSON: OK, we mentioned the book.
BUGLIOSI: I prove beyond all reasonable doubt that these five
justices deliberately set out to hand the election to George Bush. In
the process they committed one of the biggest and most serious crimes
in American history. And because of what they did in a fair and just
world, they belong behind bars as much as any white collar criminal
who ever lived. I'll just give you some of the evidence. How do you
defend these people when they themselves in so many words confessed
to the crime? Molly Ivans and Gerry Spence were powerful forwards to
the book. Spence is considered to be the leading defense attorney in
the country. How would Spence defend these people when they
themselves, by necessary implication, confessed to the crime? If you
give me 30 seconds, I'll explain how. They confessed to the crime by
saying that their ruling, that different standards to count votes in
Florida violated equal protection clause only applied, they said, to
Bush v. Gore, not to other cases. But if their ruling set forth a
valid legal principle good enough for Bush v. Gore, why wouldn't it
be good enough for other cases? This is the first time, let me finish
GIBSON: Right. Yeah.
BUGLIOSI: this is the first time in the two hundred and ten year
history of the court that the court limited its ruling to the case
before it saying that it did not constitute legal precedent for any
other case. And this fact alone clearly and unequivocally shows that
these five justices were up to no good. That they knew their ruling
was bogus and fraudulent, because let me tell you Charlie, if their
ruling was based on the law there is no reason under the moon why
they would have said that it did not apply to other cases.
GIBSON: But someone--someone had to bring this to an end. We were on
the cusp of Constitutional crises in this country.
DERSHOWITZ: I don't believe that. I don't believe that.
GIBSON: Pragmatism demanded that someone say enough, and someone had
to validate it that way we're going. Otherwise we could have had two
slates of electors in front of the Congress.
DERSHOWITZ: That's exactly what the Constitution intended. Throw it
into the House of Representatives. Scalia, more than anyone would say
the framers of our Constitution had a method for resolving this.
Madison said everybody but the Supreme Court should be involved in
deciding a presidential election. And that's why Vince and I, who,
you know, he's a prosecutor, I'm a defense attorney, we issue a
challenge here today to any two lawyers in America to defend the
Supreme Court. We will but the the Supreme Court on trial. He will
cross-examine, I will do the closing arguments, let people come
GIBSON: I'd love to do the debate on this air. I think it would be
DERSHOWITZ: let people--but nobody is coming forward to defend
these people. People are defending them public because they are
GIBSON: You say they stole the election. If it had gone to the House
of Representatives the states there would balance in Republican, the
House was Republican, it would have gone to Bush anyway.
DERSHOWITZ: The issue is not who would have won or lost the election,
the issue is what the Supreme Court did. A hijacking occurs when you
divert the airline, or even if it lands at its intended place. I'm
not, in this book, arguing who would have won the election. In three
years we can undo that. I'm arguing that the institution of the
Supreme court has been forever been tainted by the supreme injustice
that it inflicted on us. We trusted that institution to be above
politics and these five justices acted like five Chicago political
hacks in simply deciding who they wanted to see president.
Manipulating the law, distorting the law and a lot of lawyers are
saying this, they're just not saying it publicly. That's why in
Supreme Injustice and in Vincent's book, we prove the case beyond any
BUGLIOSI: Charlie, they showed they were up to good no three days
earlier. December the ninth, Saturday morning 8:00, Bush's lead had
shrunk over Gore's to 154 votes. The recount started. Two o' clock in
the afternoon Scalia steps in with an emergency order, and this is
what he said, I'm not making this up, you can't make up stuff like
this it's just too far out. And he said, `we've got to stop this
recount because if it continues, it could cause, quote: irreputable
harm to George Bush" unquote. So even though the election had not yet
been decided, the unbelievable Scalia was pre-supposing that Bush had
won the election, indeed had a right to win it, and any recount that
showed that Gore had won would cause irreparable harm to George Bush.
Now I want to hypothetically do a reversal of roles. Gore's ahead.
Saturday morning December 9, 8:00 by a 154 votes. Would Scalia have
interviewed? Who is Scalia? He is not a typical conservative
Republican, he's a right wing ideologue of the Rush Limbaugh school.
It is absolutely inconceivable that Scalia would have stepped in and
said, listen to this now, and said we've got to stop this recount
because if it continues it could cause irreparable harm to Al Gore.
That would not have happened. that could not have happened, and
anyone who can tell me with a straight look on their face that Scalia
would have done for Gore what he did for Bush, I will personally
nominate that person for an Academy Award. And I want to say this...
GIBSON: But now
BUGLIOSI: and I want to make this point here because lawyers are
buying in to what Al and I are saying. A national legal organization
has written me a letter, I've since talked to them, that they're
going to be using--thinking of using The Betrayal of America as a
GIBSON: All right
BUGLIOSI: as a legal basis, let me say, as a legal basis to ask the
House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against
these five justices.
GIBSON: Mr. Dershowitz, final word.
DERSHOWITZ: I disagree. I disagree. I don't agree with impeachment.
Impeachment just like in the Clinton case requires high crimes and
misdemeanors, Supreme Injustice I proved they acted corruptly not
GIBSON: How? All right.
DERSHOWITZ: And I prove it by demonstrating that they were
inconsistent with their prior opinions.
BUGLIOSI: I disagree with Alan on that. I disagree. I say they're
criminals and belong behind bars and they should be impeached. They
should be impeached.
DERSHOWITZ: Read both of our books and decide for yourselves.
GIBSON: Strong stuff. We'll be back. Thank you both for being here.