On the Record

Earthquake: Postponing the California Recall

Bruce Cain and Claire Cooper

A federal appeals court in California has postponed the Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election. Legal experts discuss the ramifications of this ruling on the candidates and the election.

Gwen Ifill: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw yet another monkey wrench into the chaotic California recall contest today, delaying the election in a manner which could take the whole thing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Here to help us sort out the events of the day are Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for the Sacramento Bee, and Bruce Cain, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He’s currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution here in Washington.

Gwen Ifill: Claire Cooper, explain to us what the court, in a nutshell, did today.

Claire Cooper: In a nutshell, the court said that the situation in California, just before this recall election, is quite like the situation that existed in Florida in 2000 after the presidential election in which voters in one county or actually in California in six counties were at risk of having their votes made to count for less than in the rest of the state. The court said that this was a violation of the 14th Amendment.

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Authors

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Bruce Cain

Guest Scholar, Governance Studies, Brookings; Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

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