Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The big day has finally arrived for Al Franken and Norm Coleman in the still undecided Minnesota senate race which has dragged on in the state courts. Minnesota's Senate race now comes down to 5 votes
Almost seven months after a U.S. Senate election that was too close to call, five justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether problems with absentee ballots justify reversing a lower-court ruling that declared DFLer Al Franken a 312-vote winner over Republican Norm Coleman.
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A decision upholding the lower-court ruling could end the protracted struggle and allow Franken to join the Senate, giving Democrats an invincible majority. A ruling for Coleman wouldn't return him to the Senate, but could keep his hopes alive and delay a final decision for months.
Minnesotans want the dispute to end, recent polls show. Most people say Coleman should concede. Nearly two-thirds believe that Franken ultimately will be declared the winner.
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While Monday's hearing will produce yet another dramatic climax in this seven-month saga, some believe it will be mostly anti-climactic for the justices, who weeks ago received detailed briefs from the lawyers in the case.
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The court will have two fewer members hearing the case than its usual seven because Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson sat on the state Canvassing Board for the recount and have declined to participate in related court proceedings.
Based upon the briefs filed in this case, I would find it hard to believe that the Court would not rule in favor of upholding the lower court's decision declaring Al Franken the winner. There does not appear to me to be sufficiently articulated grounds of "irregularities" in the counting and recounting process that would require the court, applying Minnesota law and case precedents, to remand this case back to the lower court with further instructions on how to proceed.
The court is likely to rule in an expedited manner, probably before the end of June.
Should the Minnesota Supreme Court affirm the lower court's order in favor of Al Franken, it is my hope that Norm Coleman will finally man up and concede his defeat, and not pursue any further legal challenges. It is the right thing to do.