Audio: Coleman hints that appeals won't stop at state level

Norm Coleman has done quite a bid of media after the election contest panel ruled against him earlier this week. Today he appeared on Jason Lewis’ popular local radio show to talk about his argument, which he plans to escalate to the Minnesota Supreme Court next week. Coleman also hints that he won’t stop there:

LEWIS: I know “Senator Al Franken” puts about as much fear into many of you out there as all the taxation planned in the next few months and years ahead. So I thought I’d give you an updated. Joining us now is the other side to the party, Senator Coleman, who is locked in this legal battle if you will with the former comedian from Saturday Night Live. Norm Coleman welcome back to the program, hi.

COLEMAN: Good to be back Jason, thanks a lot.

LEWIS: Thanks for joining us, I know these are hectic times. Now, you’ve got a situation here where you’ve got to go to the Minnesota State Supreme Court. Your lawyers say are going to do that. When do we expect a formal appeal?

COLEMAN: We’ll file the appeal early next week, late Monday, perhaps as late as Tuesday. We’re still going over to make sure we get everything right. We expected that once we file the appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court will set an expedited schedule for the filing of briefs, so we want to be ready for that. I do just want to note one thing Jason that nobody’s talked about: the basis of our appeal, the fundamental basis is the Constitution of the United States, it’s called equal protection and due process.

Coleman and Lewis spend most of their time talking about the implications of the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution, which is the Bush v Gore issue that stopped the recount in Florida.  However, that is an argument better suited for a federal appeal, rather than a state issue.  The Minnesota Supreme Court doesn’t have to consider that argument, and frankly, I’d be surprised if it did.

Franken’s supporters claim a weird sort of federalism in the notion that absentee ballots should be considered using precinct-level standards rather than uniform state standards.  That’s simply ridiculous.  State law already exists on how to handle absentee ballots, and the question is whether the counties followed the existing law.  One can make the argument that the variations don’t matter (although in a margin of 315 votes, they obviously did) or that no remedy exists to resolve them (which is probably true), but it’s laughable to say that precinct preferences override state law.

I’d bet that MN-SC will not address any of these issues and will stick with the we’ve-got-a-goshdarned-good-system position taken by the contest panel.  I’d also bet that Coleman wastes little time making his equal-protection argument in front of a court that will take it more seriously.  Most of you supported that decision in this poll — and feel free to keep voting in it: