TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ George W. Bush asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to bar the use of recounted ballots in Florida's fiercely contested presidential recount.

Bush's lawyers filed two appeals with the nation's highest court and asked the justices to grant quick review. However, they did not file any emergency request for an immediate halt to the recount.

``This is a case of the utmost national importance, involving the Constitution's most fundamental rights as exercised in the nation's most important election,'' the lawyers said in court papers. ``The outcome of the election for the presidency of the United States may hang in the balance.''

Bush's lawyers asked the justices to review Tuesday's Florida Supreme Court ruling that allowed the recount in three Democratic-leaning counties to continue until Sunday, and to bypass a federal appeals court and review a federal judge's decision last week not to block the recount.

The appeal of the federal judge's ruling asked the justices to decide ``whether the use of selective, arbitrary and standardless recounts that threaten to overturn the results of the election for president of the United States violates the equal protection clause, the due process clause and the First Amendment'' of the Constitution.