It's apparent that most of you are confused as to what has been ruled upon, and what rulings have issued.
Secretary Harris' decision is not in derogation of the Florida Supreme Court's ruling of yesterday; the FL high court's ruling merely said that the various counties which wanted to proceed with the hand-counts were not precluded from doing so.
Whether the result of those recounts is eligible to be considered a part of the overall election figures is a separate question, one which was addressed to Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis (a Dem, by the way, not that it should matter), who ruled that her actions were proper (consistent with the standard he set forth in his prior ruling, which was that Secretary Harris could not *arbitrarily* refuse to consider late-delivered ballots, and *in the exercise of her discretion* could accept or reject later-filed results).
Secretary Harris requested, from any counties which chose to submit them, proposals of why additional recount ballots should be considered; she took these requests, together with other relevant facts and information (the substance of all of which I am not aware, but would presume to include collateral reasons for non-inclusion), and rejected the requests. Judge Lewis has ruled that, in the totality of the crcumstances and given the facts presented, her rejection was not arbitrary, and was therefore not an abuse of discretion.
I'll be interested in seeing what all was submitted, because Judge Lewis really stuck his neck out, as an elected Democrat, in a heavily-Democratic county. It must have been fairly well-documented.
Given the well-orchestrated P.R. machine the Gore campaign has been operating, it is not a surprise that the legal and proper standards are not being well publicized, but that's the way things are. The judge makes his ruling based upon the law, and the admissible evidence submitted submitted to the court, not based upon opinion polls or public-relations press releases.
This ruling will, of course, be speedily appealed and it will be interesting to see what result obtains; "Abuse of Discretion," in the law, is a very high hurdle to clear. That a ruling does not suit your preferences does not make it an abuse of discretion.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...