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Supreme Court Arguments Conclude

December 11, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court bombarded lawyers for George W. Bush and Al Gore with questions for 90 historic minutes on Monday in the case of the nation’s contested presidential election. The justices set no timetable for their ruling.

``Where’s the federal question here?″ Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked Bush’s attorney, Theodore Olson, less than two minutes into the legal clash over the partial manual recount that the state Supreme Court ordered last Friday and that the U.S. Supreme Court halted less than 24 hours later.

At another point, though, Justice David Souter, seeming to ponder the ground rules for a possible resumption in the recount, asked, ``Why should there be one subjective rule for all counties.″

Bush and Gore watched from a distance as their lawyers posted rival legal claims before a court that seemed eager to challenge and probe for weaknesses.

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

Gore was at the vice president’s residence, pinning his hopes on attorney David Boies and his ability to persuade a majority of the court to resume the recount. Three of Gore’s children _ Karenna, Kristin and Albert III _ were among the spectators given seats to the historic arguments.

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