MN-Sen: Is the Election Wrapping Up?
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 05:28:13 PM EST
It appears so, says Eric Kleefeld:
Norm Coleman just got a Christmas present from the Minnesota Supreme Court: A giant lump of coal.
In a unanimous decision handed down just now, the state Supremes denied Coleman any relief in a lawsuit he was waging to deal with allegations of double-counted absentee ballots, which his campaign says have given an illegitimate edge to Al Franken. The Coleman campaign was seeking to switch 25 selected precincts back to their Election Night totals, which would undo all of Franken's recount gains in those areas and put Coleman back in the lead.
The court, however, sided with the Franken camp's lawyers in saying that a question like this should be reserved for a post-recount election contest proceeding, as the proper forum to discover evidence -- and which also has a burden of proof that heavily favors the certified winner.
Simply put, Coleman is in very big trouble right now. With Al Franken leading by 47 votes, this lawsuit was Coleman's best shot at coming from behind. And it just failed, making a Franken win nearly a foregone conclusion when this recount finishes up in early January.
The AP writes that "The court's decision leaves Coleman with fewer ways to make up ground in the recount."The Star Tribune similarly ledes "A state Supreme Court ruling Wednesday narrowed the options available for Sen. Norm Coleman to erase a slim lead held by DFLer Al Franken in the Minnesota election dispute."
In short, this looks like a very positive development for those hoping to see Al Franken in the Senate -- not the end of the story, but a big step towards the progressive activist entering the upper chamber of Congress.