Judge Delays Ruling on Gore Vote Challenge After Supreme Court Decision
A judge hearing Al Gore's challenge to the Florida election results delayed his ruling in the case after the US Supreme Court overturned a Florida high court ruling that allowed hand recounts in the state.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge Sanders Sauls had been expected to release his decision about whether to order the manual recount of thousands of disputed ballots around 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) but decided to postpone that announcement until after a review of the Supreme Court ruling.
"We are on hold, pending our being able to determine whether the US Supreme Court decision has any effect on our proceeding," court spokeswoman Terre Cass told reporters.
An update on when or if Sauls would issue his decision was expected later Monday, she said.
The impact of the ruling on the Gore contest was not immediately clear and Cass said she did not know if Sauls had called the Supreme Court for clarification.
After two days of marathon weekend hearings, Sauls announced late Sunday that he would render a decision on Monday morning in the landmark case that could determine the presidency.
Gore is asking for the judge to order a hand recount of thousands of disputed ballots from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties that are now being held in a secure vault in the Leon County Circuit Court on Sauls' orders.
The vice president contends that a manual recount of the some 3,300 disputed ballots in Palm Beach and about 9,000 from Miami-Dade will overcome the certified state result that shows George W. Bush won the November 7 election by a mere 537 votes.
The Bush camp is vehemently opposed to such a count, arguing that Gore has not presented any evidence to show that a manual tally is needed.
Florida, and its 25 votes in the Electoral College, this year hold the key to the White House -- TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AFP)
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