Franken Declared Winner in Minnesota Senate Race

The judicial panel hearing Coleman's challenge against Franken in the Minnesota Senate Race has made its decision: Franken is the the winner of the election and should be certified. The procedure is this: A ten day period occurs after which the Governor certifies the election. Unless there is a challenge in the State Supreme Court.

Colman has been ordered to pay Franken's legal costs.

Coleman is expected to continue to obstruct democracy. About half the people of this state knew he was a bastard before this started. That number has grown.


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Colman has been ordered to pay Franken's legal costs.

I love that!

By NewEnglandBob (not verified) on 13 Apr 2009 #permalink

Stacy: He's going to appeal to the state court, then the US supreme court.

I think it goes without saying that Coleman will continue to drag this out. The really fun question is, "What will Pawlenty do?"

Rock. Hard place.

In extremis, he could refuse to certify Franken even after the USSC tells Coleman to stuff it. As far as I can tell, the only recourse at that point would be impeachment for nonfeasance [1], and it might not be possible to swing removal from office with all the national pressure applied to keep the number of Democrats in the Senate down.

Pretzels. Beer. Might as well enjoy the circus, because I sure as Hell ain't in a position to bring down the curtain.

[1] But then I don't pretend to know what I'm on about.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 13 Apr 2009 #permalink

Isn't it the Senate allowed to seat him on their own authority?

By Nathan Myers (not verified) on 13 Apr 2009 #permalink

The Republicans have threatened filibuster on everything if the Senate tries to seat Franken.

That strikes me suicidal for the Republicans - wouldn't the result of that be either

a) the Democrats win a filibuster proof majority in 2010.
b) the Democrats gain a filibuster proof majoriity before 2010 as some senators jump ship to save their seats.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Apr 2009 #permalink

So, the Republicans will filibuster any effort to seat Franken. They would do it after the SCOMN case, they would do it after the SCOTUS case, and they would do it now. Might just as well let them implode now as later.

By Nathan Myers (not verified) on 14 Apr 2009 #permalink

Start a e mail campaign to Gov. Pawlenty.

At this point, the only opinions that matter to him aren't going to be writing e-mails -- they have more direct contacts.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 14 Apr 2009 #permalink

Hm. Well that's interesting. Making him pay Franken's legal costs is basically saying the judges felt the lawsuit was extraneous from the get-go. That gives ammunition to the supreme court to off-the-line deny his appeal.

Which would of course cause a republican hissyfit. But then what doesn't?

The problem is that the political nature of our MNSC might be such that they have to give the appearance of fully hearing Coleman's case, meaning several weeks of arguments before the court.

With only four (an even number) judges, by the way, given required recusals. Unless the judge that has given piles of money to Coleman does not recuse himself. In which case he'll be the swing vote.

It is not entirely out of the question that the MNSC will order a new election or some other asinine thing.

D. C. Sessions: As far as I can tell, the only recourse at that point would be impeachment for nonfeasance

As noted, the US Senate could move to seat him of their own accord; I'd expect Snowe and Spector to break ranks for that sooner or later. There might also be grounds at that point for Franken to sue the Federal government in SCOTUS original jurisdiction under the requirement of Article IV, Section 4 that "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government", although that would be an uphill battle. Additionally, there's of course also the extralegal alternative to impeachment of assassination; however, I don't think any Democrats would try that, given the example set by Al Gore in 2000. They'd prefer to keep the decision of this election within the scope of Law, rather than escalating through Politics all the way to Clausewitz's Other Means. Franken might even be more politically useful to the Democrats as an albatross to hang around the neck of the GOP than he would be as a seated Senator.

Worst case scenario, the seat stays vacant for six years. More likely than that, the cert refusal becomes a major re-election issue for Pawlenty in 2010, gets him booted, and the first official act of the next governor is to seat Franken.

I know I'm dense at times, but isn't this the same party that urged Gore to stop legal proceedings for the good of the country?

Perhaps a better approach would be to argue in court whether the star of "Stuart Saves His Family" should be installed.

By Pliny-the-in-Between (not verified) on 14 Apr 2009 #permalink

Not only did Gore do the "right thing" but Coleman insisted that Franken "do the right thing" back when Coleman had a few dozen votes more than Franken before the recount.