WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lawyers for George W. Bush and Al Gore argued their cases in the solemnity of the Supreme Court on Monday, urgently pressing rival claims about the suspended manual recount in Florida and the nation's overtime presidential election.

``I am keeping my emotions in check,'' Bush said in Texas a short while before his attorney, Ted Olson, stepped before the nine justices to argue the recount should be shut down _ and Bush's certified victory allowed to stand.

Gore was in Washington, pinning his hopes on attorney David Boies and his ability to persuade a majority of the court to resume the recount.

The court allotted 90 minutes for the oral arguments, which unfolded only two days after a 5-4 majority voted to stop the recount at least temporarily.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in an unwritten written concurring opinion, said at the time it ``suffices to say...that a majority of the court'' believes that Bush had a substantial probability of success on the final ruling.

That meant that Gore faced an uphill struggle as the black-robed justices settled in their seats for the formal arguments. Boies said on Sunday that defeat at the high court could mean the end of the road for the vice president's 2000 quest for the White House.