Breaking: Say hello to Senator Al Franken; Update: Coleman concedes

posted at 2:35 pm on June 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

To no one’s great shock, the Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected Norm Coleman’s appeal of the election contest and awarded the Senate election to Al Franken.  The decision, expected last week, stated that Coleman failed to prove that recounting thousands of rejected ballots would have impacted the final results:

It is U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

The Minnesota Supreme Court today decided that Franken, a Democrat, won the highest number of votes in last year’s U.S. Senate race and deserves a signed election certificate.

The court said that Republican Norm Coleman didn’t prove that a lower court made mistakes requiring a rehearing of the case. Coleman had asked the court to order thousands of rejected absentee ballots counted. He had hoped the counting would allow him to overcome Franken’s 312-vote lead.

As I wrote before, the equal-protection argument Coleman used for this appeal had more chance of success in federal court rather than state court.  The state court kept itself to the issues of state law, rather than the more expansive federal issue of equal treatment of votes.  No one who followed the arguments at the court can be surprised by this decision, which was unanimous.

Coleman could push this into the federal courts, but he has yet to commit to doing so.  Tim Pawlenty indicated that he would follow the state Supreme Court’s direction in handling the election certificate, which means Franken will probably take his seat this week in the Senate.  If Coleman appeals to the federal court, he will have to also deal with Franken’s status as a seated Senator.

My guess — and this is just a guess — is that Coleman will call it a day.  We’ll soon see.

Update: Eric Black reports that the certificate was not specifically ordered.  Hmmm.  That gives Pawlenty an out, if he chooses to wait for a Coleman federal appeal.

Update II: Ignore my original update II.  ABC News sent out an old report, and I didn’t catch it at first.

Update III: Catching this via Twitter from Howard Kurtz — Norm Coleman has conceded.  He wants to focus on fishing more than the governor’s race for now, but I think he decided to stop now to preserve his viability within the state of Minnesota.  Probably not a bad decision for him personally.

Update IV: Coleman’s statement, as provided by his campaign:

“Ours is a government of laws, not men and women.  The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result.  It’s time for Minnesota to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States Senator – Al Franken.

“Just a few last words about my legal challenge.  Sure, I wanted to win.  Not just for myself but for my wonderful supporters and the important values I have always fought for.  I also thought it was important to stand up for enfranchising thousands of Minnesotans whose votes weren’t counted like the others were.  After all, issues and politicians come and go, but voting is fundamental.

“It is the essence of democracy so I knew we needed to do everything we could to get it right.

“I am forever grateful and humbled by the people of Minnesota who have given me the honor to represent them – and even more grateful for their wisdom, courage, patience and understanding over these past several months.

“The path that I take in the future is not nearly as important today as the path that we must now — all travel on together — to strengthen our state and our nation.

“I have never believed that my service is irreplaceable.  We have reached the point where further litigation damages the unity of our state, which is also fundamental.  In these tough times, we all need to focus on the future.  And the future today is we have a new United States Senator.

“I congratulate Al Franken and his victory in this election.  He now enjoys the advantage that our Congressional Delegation has over the other 525 people on Capitol Hill: he represents Minnesota.

“I know the great ideas, the amazing work ethic and the historic ability to come together to get things done in this state will help him greatly, as it has me.

“Speaking of which, I think we all should take a moment to thank Amy Klobuchar and her staff.  They have done a great job of carrying the burden of two Senators these last six months.  She is an extraordinary public servant.

“I don’t reach this point with any big regrets.  I ran the campaign I wanted.  I conducted the legal challenge I wanted.  And I have always believed you do the best you can and leave the results up to a higher authority.  I’m at peace with that.  As to my future plans, that’s a subject for another day.

“We live in a great country and a great state.  We can all have confidence that by some path we don’t yet know – one which we can all come together to lay out – we will arrive at the better future we all seek.

“Thank you and may God bless Minnesota and America.”


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Selected not elected? ;-)

Abby Adams on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Heckuva job, Minnesota.

ChrisB on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

moonbatkiller on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Good. What a great day for democracy.

promachus on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

FU Al.

Monica on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Selected not elected? ;-)

Abby Adams on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Beat me to it! :)

Pasalubong on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

One more nail in America’s coffin.

txsurveyor on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

The angry clown will fit right in with the rest of the Clowns in the 111th Clown Car.

Rae on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I shudder.

Ellen on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Way to go MN. What the hell were you thinking? I swear I’m living in an alternate universe.

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Franken looks a lot like the CA Dem leader picture from the other thread.

zmdavid on June 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Now Obama has no excuses to hand to the left, unfettered Democrat control is here. Accountability is going to scare the bejeesus out of House Democrats. Obama’s political capital is going to shrivel like a raisin in the sun.

Controlling both houses and can’t get a thing passed…

Theworldisnotenough on June 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Yay, we’re screwed. Thanks Minnesota!

t.ferg on June 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Meh…The Dems can claim this fool as their own.

Savrielle on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Oh man, I have chunks of lunch in my keyboard. Looks like corned beef hash. Gross.

Geronimo on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Senator Stuart Smalley….

As Bad as this is, things will only continue to get Worse

Janos Hunyadi on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Sucks to be a Republican right now.

bwconq on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Al Franken will never be Senator Franken, he will be forever referred to by me as Thief Franken, D-MN.

Rogue on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Take it to the Supreme Court. This election was stolen.

Al Franken is not a Senator and not an American.

NoDonkey on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

What’s one more joker in the Senate?

DarkCurrent on June 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

heckuva job ACORN! How many illegals or dead people will leave us with this JACKA$$????????

SDarchitect on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Say goodbye to Minnesota voters’ credibility…. AGAIN!

Sign of the Dollar on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

And lets not forget how unpopular Harry Reid is right now. How about the leader of the Senate Democrats unable to win reelection. A Republican opponent has a good arguement for divided government. Lets hope the Nevada GOP is not completely feckless.

Theworldisnotenough on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Countdown to ultimate USAFUBAR….

Daggett on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Embarrassing. One of my senators is Al. Franken. Al. Franken.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

America’s descent into the sewer and banana republicosity continues.

Bishop on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Abby Adams on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

+1

Sad day for us all….

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Is the angry clown an admirer of the evil clown?

ICBM on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Way to go MN. What the hell were you thinking? I swear I’m living in an alternate universe.

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

In all seriousness, don’t blame MN totally, it’s really the fault of Lizard People and the corrupt MN SoS. Franken blatently stole this one, that’s undeniable.

Rogue on June 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Tears in MN. Kinda knew it was coming, but find comfort in knowing that his thunder has already been stolen and he will amount to little. He may have been born here, but little of him represents what is good and reasonable about MN. Besides early Franken supporters already regret their initial impulse, so he will fizzle fast.

pjean on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Selected not elected? ;-)

Abby Adams on June 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Nah. This was such a fustercluck of an election that I’m not surprised the Minn SC finally washed their hands of it.

Whatever the truth, if any, behind shonky electoral shenanigans, it’s so mired in a rancid shit-flinging squabble, that there’s no way to cleanly discern truth from fiction.

Welcome Senator Franken – let’s see just how brilliant you are.

LimeyGeek on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

In theory, it should be easy to be a GOP in the senate or house. Just vote NO on almost everything and let the Dems own it ALL!

WashJeff on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

There’s something in the waters of the Minnesota River.

regal on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Well, I guess it’s finally official.

We. Are. Screwed.

Knucklehead on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Nice job, Minnesota. Then again, they’re the one state that went for Mondale in ’84, so I’ve come to expect the worst from them.

Doughboy on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Throw the rest of the fake Franken votes on the bonfire. It’s party time.

LibTired on June 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM

…so he will not fizzle fast enough. Unfortunately, it wil take six years.

pjean on June 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM

FIFY

WashJeff on June 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM

A bonified f’ing clown in congress…

daesleeper on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Stuart Smalley: the face of the democrat party.

What an embarrassment for the people of Minnesota. Well, you guys in Minnesota voted for that clown.

jencab on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Coleman’s already got a lobbying job lined up with the Republican Jewish Coalition, so he can afford to tie up the courts as long as he wants. It’s really his call.

Siobhan on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

The comedy tour begins. Franken won’t be so popular without the laugh track or the live studio audience.

Schmuck.

portlandon on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse on Capitol Hill . . .

NebCon on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

What is the country coming to?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

So what? With the way things are going right now, the balance of power in the House and the Senate are going to shift dramatically in 2010. And besides, when people in Minnesota see exactly what kind of certified assclown Stuart Smalley really is, he’ll end up either as a a one-term wonder or subject to mass recall.

pilamaye on June 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Not the first stolen election… and won’t be the last unless WE the people do somthing about it.

Election law in this country is a joke. We look like a third world nation.

And… /shudder… he will take his seat just in time for Cap and Trade…. great…

Romeo13 on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

He’ll fit right in with the rest of the comedians. Can’t wait for his first speech or even his first appearence on SNL.

a capella on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

10 bucks he makes a farting noise with his armpit at his first press conference.

Chuck Schick on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Ok, but in defense of MN I want all of you who own the other 59 libs in the senate to remember what happened in your own states. Franken is a huge joke on Minnesota but he’s not the only clown in the senate.

Bishop on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

HA! This boob personifies the wacko libs in DC. I think now that the anti-Bush derangement syndromee is dying down, the crazy Dems are starting to see how badly they F’d up. Good job libs!

marklmail on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is wrong with Minnesotans?

daesleeper on June 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

hello Al, goodbye Norm … finally

Monkei on June 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Tuesday June 30, 2009, the day the circus began a 5 and a half year run in Washington, DC. Dingy Harry, Ringmaster.

EconomicNeocon on June 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

It’s official. America is now a one-party nation-state.

Never I imagined this would happen. Maybe it’s time to have an extraordinary GOP assembly and dismantle its charter. There’s no reason to continue this charade. With absolute power, there is NOTHING that Democrats cannot do now.

Remember these words: absolute power. And forget the GOP.

newton on June 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Minnesota – You people are screwed. This guy is a $h!t-bag of the highest order. I can’t wait to see how quickly the Senate begins to transform from the “big-top” to a really bad SNL set. Before long, we’ll have the reincarnation of Senator Blutarsky sitting beside him. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, crap like this happens.

HomeoftheBrave on June 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

St. Paul, MN – ACORN has annouced that a victory party will be held on 7356 Oak St. today at 7:00 in St. Paul. ACORN plans to break into a foreclosed home and use someone elses property to host the party.

WashJeff on June 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Just all goes to demonstrate that Minnesotans are Scandinavians with their heads cut off.

MB4 on June 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM

America is NOT dead. It is within each and every one of you, and you have the power to take the power within your hands. Lesser men have done it, but they were driven to do so!

What have you done, any of you, for Liberty?

LibertyBoyNYC on June 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM

I wish I lived across the border from Minnesota.

I’d throw rocks at the people who voted for this moron.

cntrlfrk on June 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Maybe the Republicans can take the states #51-57 (the one’s that Obama talked about) and take back over the fillibuster proof Dem’s control of the Senate?

By the way, has the federal government bailed out those 7 states yet?

Mo_mac on June 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM

This is great news!

mycowardice on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

WashJeff:

LOL!!!

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

When they seat this idiot, I hope the Senate band plays “Send in the clowns” in tribute. It certainly fits, and proves the Democrats can steal an election with the best of them.
Minnesotans should feel SO proud to have this waste-of-air representing them in Congress. Sort of like a white version of Cynthia McKinney.

bradley11 on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

One more asshat w/ a (D).

bluelightbrigade on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Hopefully, Coleman will continue the fight in the federal courts, if for no other reason than to keep Franken out of the Senate for a little while longer.

kagai on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Can we complain for the next 6 years that he stole the election just like the Bush haters did for the last 8???

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

One more jerk w/ a (D).

bluelightbrigade on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I hope Minnesota is one of the 1st of the 57 states to secede.

Ricky on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

just how bad a professional politician Norm must have been to have been beaten by a first time running candidate who was a comedy writer.

GOP … needs to get some better candidates! Maybe some not associated with Cheney/Bush or the right wing bible thumpers would help. Maybe some real conservatives. Whatever happened to the party of Goldwater?

Monkei on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Maybe Coleman should do what that Zelaya guy did and call a referendum. After all Obama backed his decision to ignore a supreme court ruling in Honduras.

I can not believe the people of Minn. would make this moron a Senator.

Terrye on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

This is great news!

mycowardice on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

For you. You guys now have Absolute Power.

I never thought I’d say this, but Independence for Texas seems to be very possible now…

newton on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Minnesota, please get a clue when 2014 rolls around.

gsherin on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Oh well this will just mean that the coming Democrat massacre in 2010 will be even bigger, because with the extra vote in the Senate they now have thanks to this massive tool getting away with voter fraud I guarantee you that the Democrats will over reach even further raising the ire of average voters.

Dreadnought223 on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

May the Vikings play 20 more years in the HHH Dome for this insult to America!

WashJeff on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Can we complain for the next 6 years that he stole the election just like the Bush haters did for the last 8???

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Considering in this case he actually did…I fully intend to.

Rogue on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Sink me, your fellow citizens have again betrayed you. More’s the pity as your clowns will rule the land, and there will be no buffoons left to perform for Barnum & Bailey’s. So much for American politics and American circuses.

PercyB on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

The Republican Party (Dems “light”) gave us this clusterfoxtrot.
All Republicans in the House and Senate, just go home. Quit and go home. Let the DemoncRATS run this country into the ground.

mountainmanbob on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Sorry MN,In Cali, we’re stuck with Babs and Di Fi, so I feel your pain.

Sanjoboy on June 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Minnesota, please get a clue when 2014 rolls around.

gsherin on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

They didn’t have it in November. They never will.

Any sane Minnessotans are invited to leave the state, before it becomes Hotel California.

newton on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Can we complain for the next 6 years that he stole the election just like the Bush haters did for the last 8???

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

5 1/2 years to be exact, but yes that’s my plan. No one can defend the blatent theft of this Senate seat. The one consolation from all of this(along with S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’s defection) is that the Dems now own EVERYTHING. Whatever goes wrong between January 2009 and November 2010 is on them.

Doughboy on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Caligula has his horse.

daesleeper on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Franken might be an assclown, but wait till you see how hard
I laugh at Pawlenty when he runs in 2012.

alliebobbitt on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

You guys [Democrats] now have Absolute Power.

newton on June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Absolute corruption creates absolute power!

WashJeff on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Never mind, I didn’t see that he will probably be seated no matter what Coleman does..

Hopefully Republicans continue to stand united (minus a couple of RINOs) against health care, Cap and Tax and the out of control spending to make sure any future negative repercussions fall squarely on the Democrats.

kagai on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Good, let’s now get busy making Franken the poster child for the Democratic Party and forcing every Democrat up for reelection next year to embrace him. He’s an a-hole and a laughingstock, and I’ll bet there is more than one Democratic senator squirming about him joining them. We need to make them squirm as much as possible.

The NRSC should assign an intern with a video camera to follow Franken 24/7. There’s a “macaca” moment waiting to happen, and soon.

rockmom on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Monkei:

I remember reading that there was a split in the vote in that state and that if it was just Coleman vs the Idiot tax dodger then Coleman would win.But of course it was not.

So, after a lot of cheating and vote stealing etc the Democrats have managed to “win” another one. Congrats.

Terrye on June 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I’d have to leave the state.

What a turd baby lil jerk for a senator.

Texyank on June 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Another straw on the camel’s back. This is getting interesting.

JiangxiDad on June 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Doughboy on June 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

sorry for the faux pas…i just realized it myself…

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Oh yeah, and at least Pennsylvania no longer has the worst Democratic Senator!!! Thanks Minnesota!!

rockmom on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

What a nightmare!

Don’t worry…I have a good feeling about the Lizard People’s odds in 2014. They will be able to unseat him for sure next time.

Joe Caps on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

As much as we conservatives are bitching how many of us are all that involved in changing the outcome of these elections? I’m pretty involved, I go to rallies, I call legislators, but we can do alot more.

Culturally and educationally we have ceded much territory to the left. Culture and education are the fabric of society and unfortunately two generations of uncontrolled liberalism in education and culture has had predictable results.

People in the inner city still get to vote. Our lack of involvement makes it easy for Democrats to own this vote. Were the inner city vote to tilt, even slighty conservative liberals would have a hard time getting elected dog catcher much less any statewide office. We have work to do folks. Less bitching more action.

Theworldisnotenough on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

This crap sandwich just gets better,don’t it?

hanoverfist on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Al Franken. Harry Reid. Dick Durbin. Chris Dodd. Roland Burris.

The heck with Comedy Central. We’ve got C-Span! Pass the beers, and God help America.

TN Mom on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

I’m confused . . . are we to ignore the update saying Coleman will appeal to the feds? Because it’s still in blazing red on the home page.

califcon on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

rockmom:

Well at least now Burris will have some company in the I don’t deserve to be here category in the Senate.

Terrye on June 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Never mind . . .

califcon on June 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

This is great news!
mycowardice on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Now all you have to do is figure out why Ogabe won’t close Gitmo, won’t stop Predator attacks, and won’t work to legalize gay marriage.

Filibuster proof senate and he won’t try to legalize gay marriage? Why not?

Bishop on June 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

RE: Update: YAY! The shit-flinging continues! Bring a poncho!

LimeyGeek on June 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

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