It is confidence in the men and women who admin-ister the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
JUSTICE STEVENS, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG AND JUSTICE BREYER join, dissenting.
[December 12, 2000]