Respond to this Article November 2000

Would Ken Starr call for a Revote?

He might well based on what he wrote in a 1974 article


In a 1974 article published in the New York University Law Review, Kenneth W. Starr addressed the question of judicial invalidation of state elections, writing that: "It is unsurprising . . . that the courts have accepted proof of a possible effect on outcome as sufficient to invoke the invalidation remedy. This is a burden which may readily be carried when serious violations occur, and the election is close."

Under Judge Starr's approach, "a new contest is warranted only when illegal acts might skew the election returns sufficiently so as to influence the outcome." Judge Starr concludes that "whenever an election is closely contested and the alleged violations appear to be more than de minimis," and the violations may have affected the outcome, it is "particularly appropriate" to call for a new election. Indeed, "[o]rdering a new election . . . when the results of the prior one are suspicious comports with the duties of federal courts both to sit as tribunals of equity, balancing competing considerations, and to serve as the principal protectors of constitutionally guaranteed rights."

Ken Starr was writing about a different case, at a different time, but it seems that if the ballots in Palm Beach Countyare illegal ,as they seem to be, this article makes the case for a revote.

By Alexander Reid and the editors of The New York University Law Review

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