To put the law in terms understandable to Al Gore: Democrats are permitted to steal all the votes they want before Election Day: They can give homeless people cigarettes in exchange for votes, they can register felons and illegal immigrants, and they can count "dimpled chads," animal entrails, ballots pulled out of disappearing vote-o-matics. But they have to steal all the votes they're going to steal by 5 p.m. seven days after the election.
If the party apparatchiks still haven't stolen enough votes for you to win by 5 p.m. seven days after the election, you have to stop arguing and go home. Gore certainly found birds of a feather in the Florida Supreme Court. It appears that the justices' mental acuity has been impaired from the loud engine noises of all those ambulances they spent their illustrious legal careers chasing. The chief justice of that court gave $500 to Clinton-Gore in 1992, but did not recuse himself from a case in which Gore is a party. (At least this reversed the usual flow of funds one expects in such a state supreme court.)
As was roundly expected, the justices were confused by clear statements of the law. What did the Legislature mean when it says "Returns must be filed" on the seventh day after the election? What does "all missing counties shall be ignored" connote? And, more to the point, how can we help Al Gore steal the election?
The answer to that question: Repeal the seven-day deadline emphatically required under the law, so the Democrats have sufficient time to pull about a thousand more Gore votes out of their hats.
The Florida Supreme Court may as well have issued an opinion purporting to make Ralph Nader Supreme Commander of the United States. As with the hapless elderly voters confused by the butterfly ballot, we can smile in amusement at the doddering justices, but the Florida Legislature, governor and secretary of state still have to abide by the law. And the law says the deadline was last Tuesday.