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Second Judge Recuses Herself From Presiding Over Palm Beach County LawsuitsAired November 14, 2000 - 10:47 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now right back down to Palm Beach, West Palm Beach County, and John Zarrella, who has breaking news out of Palm Beach County -- John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, like we've been saying: Just wait a minute and something will change. We've just been told that, in Palm Beach County circuit court, West Palm Beach, that what has been happening now is that a judge, another judge, has recused herself.
This was the second judge. Last night, the first judge recused himself; second judge, now, has recused herself. And the issue here are the six or seven lawsuits that were filed by individuals in Palm Beach County claiming that, because of the so-called butterfly ballot, that they did not have a fair vote, that it was not clear who they were voting for.
So there were about half a dozen or more lawsuits filed and they were all given to one judge yesterday, who was going to have an emergency hearing. During that emergency hearing that judge recused himself. Now, this morning, the second judge who got all of these cases, has now recused herself. Basically saying, for whatever the reasons, and we don't know, that she does not feel as if she can be hearing these cases. So we're onto our third judge in Palm Beach County circuit court and we do not know when that hearing will start. It was supposed to start at 1:30 this afternoon to determine the validity of those lawsuits filed by individuals in Palm Beach County.
And again, here, outside the emergency operations center, where the recount was supposed to start -- the manual recount of all of the ballots here in Palm Beach County, 431,000-plus -- that's been put on hold. Won't start any earlier than tomorrow, if it starts at all, based on the back-and-forth over whether they have the legal authority to go ahead and recount.
So, continuing changes here and in the court system here in Palm Beach County -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Well, John, as for this second judge that has now recused herself; I'm sure there's not a shortage of judges, they can get another judge. But time is of the essence here.
ZARRELLA: No question about it. And, of course, everything would probably be rendered a moot point if the state court in Tallahassee or the Florida Supreme Court, ultimately, by 5:00 this afternoon, decides that all of the votes have to be certified and in. So everything could be rendered a moot point. But it sure doesn't look as if there's any likelihood that there will be any quick resolution in state court here in Palm Beach County; at least to the suits filed by the individuals because we're really go going through judges, now, pretty quickly here in Palm Beach County -- Daryn.
KAGAN: All right; John Zarrella in West Palm Beach, thank you for that update.
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