Democrats praise court ruling; Gibbons says waste of time

RENO, Nev. - Democratic Sens. Harry Reid and Richard Bryan say the latest Florida Supreme Court ruling means Al Gore should finally get the full recount he deserves.

''It has given Gore a new lease on life,'' Bryan, D-Nev., said Friday.

''Obviously it is going to be challenged, but in a week in which much of the news has been rather bleak, it's a new ray of hope for him,'' he said in an interview.

But Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons says the ruling will only delay an orderly transition to a new Bush administration.

''George W. Bush, who I believe won this election and is the certified victor in Florida, has already lost one-half of the time required for his transition to take place,'' Gibbons said Friday.

''Unfortunately, this ruling will only place George Bush further back in making sure that he can have an orderly and timely transition,'' he said.

Reid said the ruling ordering further hand counts of ballots was a dramatic legal victory for Gore.

''We've said all along that the Florida Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter in this matter,'' Reid said.

''This decision means that Al Gore may finally get a full and accurate count of all the votes,'' he said.

Gibbons said the U.S. Supreme Court already has expressed concern that the Florida Supreme Court was attempting to rewrite the state's election laws.

''Today, it seems clear that the Florida State Supreme Court has again ignored the U.S. Supreme Court,'' Gibbons said.

''Undoubtedly, it is time for the country to move forward and address the critical issues that face our nation. This will not occur with the continuation of court cases, appeals, contests and recounts,'' he said.

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