Notes: What a day in court this Friday has been. Just after 2 p.m., two trial-level courts essentially ruled against Democratic requests. Some thought Al Gore was down for the count. But by 3:30 p.m. he was up off the canvas and landing body blows with the Florida Supreme Court sending the case that had refused to overturn Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris' certification of the vote back to the trial court to begin a manual recount of all "undercounted" votes or so-called "undervotes" -- about 43,000. The Bush camp immediately filed for a stay of the vote count in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and set in motion an appeal the the United States Supreme Court also asking that court for an emergency halt to the count.

Continuing in the mondo bizarro of the court world, the New York Times printed an interview with Cindy Sauls, the wife of the Judge N. Sanders Sauls who was reversed by the Florida Supreme Court today. In the interview, she discussed the judge's past problems and bad blood with the Florida Supreme Court. When the case was sent back to him this afternoon, he recused himself.

At 8 p.m. a hearing began in a court in Leon County, Florida by the Judge Terry Lewis, who replaced Judge Sauls, to determine how the vote recount would take place. The Gore camp is pressing hard for the count to begin because there's a belief that once a count begins, it can't be stopped. The Bush camp is pressing equally hard to prevent the recount from beginning. However, the Court ordered that the recount begins on Saturday to be finished by 2 p.m. Sunday. George W. Bush leads at this writing by 154 votes.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a lower court decision throwing out a case from Texas claiming that Dick Cheney was a Texas resident (if Cheney were from Texas, then Texas' electoral votes for either him or George W. Bush would be in jeopardy). In an unusual move, the three justices heard the arguments, took a break and one came back to immediately announce that Cheney lived in Wyoming (usually this process would take several months).

Tonight on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the double-standard of journalists assuming that Gore has been the one who would concede and not Bush got an airing when Mark Shields discussed at what point Bush should concede. An astonished-looking Paul Gigot smiled bemusedly as if Shields had either gone just gone crazy or had stumbled onto an Achilles heel of Republican propaganda. (So far, Democrats have not been very successful with their own propaganda.) Lehrer then asked questions about the double standard on concession. 12.08.00