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Top Fla. Court To Hear Gore Appeal

December 5, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear Al Gore’s appeal of a ruling that upheld George W. Bush’s statewide victory in the contested presidential race.

A court spokesman, Craig Waters, said the justices wanted written papers submitted by Wednesday afternoon, and would hear oral arguments Thursday morning in the case that could ultimately settle the race for the White House.

The unusually condensed schedule reflected the national urgency of the case.

Gore is appealing a ruling by Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls that rejected Gore’s request for a manual recount in two counties and to overturn Bush’s certified victory in the state that stands to pick the next president.

Waters said the justices had allotted an hour for oral arguments, 30 minutes for Gore’s attorneys and 30 for Bush’s.

Gore’s appeal was one of two election-related cases at Florida’s highest court. The other, returned on Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court, requested clarification of the reasoning behind a ruling last month that approved partial manual recounts beyond a deadline fixed in state law for the end of vote counting in the presidential election.

The Bush and Gore legal teams already were operating under a 3 p.m. Tuesday deadline for submitting written arguments in that case. No timetable for oral arguments has yet been set in that case.

Waters told reporters he had no information on whether the two cases would be combined.

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