"Breaking: Court rules Al Franken good enough, smart enough and doggone it 312 more people from Minnesota liked him than Norm Coleman"
The uphill battle to beat the inevitable conservative filibuster attempt against climate action just got one vote easier. Think Progress reports:
Eight months after the 2008 election, the Minnesota Supreme Court has declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of the state’s U.S. Senate election. The unanimous decision clears the way for Franken to be seated:
“For all of the foregoing reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under Minn. 32 Stat. § 204C.40 (2008) to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.”
This weekend on CNN, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said that he would be ready to “sign” the certificate officially declaring Franken the winner as soon as the supreme court gave the “green light“:
CNN: Your state supreme court has a ruling before it, it could come very soon. After that ruling, the next step would be for you to certify the election. Will you certify the election based on your state’s supreme court ruling, is that for you?
PAWLENTY: I’m going to follow the direction of the court, John. We expect that ruling any day now. I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I’m prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light.
Today’s decision doesn’t contain any language specifically instructing Pawlenty to sign the certificate of election “” which isn’t surprising, since the governor wasn’t a party to the litigation.
Coleman still has the option to “seek a review from the U.S. Supreme Court or file a whole new case in U.S. District Court.” If he does so and the court says to “put a limit on or stop the effect of the state court ruling,” Pawlenty said that he will abide by that decision. However, he said that “if that doesn’t happen promptly or drags out for any period of time, then we need to move ahead with signing this, particularly if I’m ordered to do that by the state court.”
TPM’s Eric Kleefeld has also raised the possibility that the Senate GOP could “attempt to filibuster” Franken’s acceptance, even if Pawlenty signs the certificate. NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) has said that he’s willing to wage “World War III” if Democrats try to seat Franken before Coleman carries his case out through federal court “” even though it could take “years” to resolve.
The NYT polical blog notes, “this morning, MSNBC’s First Read listed several factoids that have accumulated during this fight”:
$51.1 million has been raised between Coleman and Franken for the entire campaign
- $50.3 million has been spent between the two candidates
- $11 million (at least) has been spent on the recount
- 2,424,946 votes were cast
- 312 votes separate the candidates (Franken leads)
- 239 days since Election Day 2008
- 34 weeks since Election Day 2008
- 7 months, 27 days since Election Day 2008
- 4 seasons seen since Election Day 2008 election.
Congrats to be soon-to-be-Senator from Minnesota.
TPM has all the stories and responses here.