Minnesota Top Court Declares Franken US Senate Race Winner
The New York Times reports this afternoon that Minnesota Democrat Al Franken has prevailed over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
In a 32-page, per curiam opinion, the Minnesota Supreme Court found Coleman’s claims of voting and constitutional irregularities in the November election were baseless and recommended the election be certified.
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty indicated earlier this week that if the Supreme Court ruled against Coleman, he would certify Franken the winner.
From The Times:
Asked what he would do if Mr. Coleman decided to appeal to the federal courts, as had been mentioned before this ruling, Mr. Pawlenty added: “A federal court could stay or put a limit on or stop the effect of the state court ruling. If they chose, if they do that, I would certainly follow their direction. But 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.”
The Court did not issue a directive ordering the governor to certify the race and judges allowed for a 10 day rehearing period.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Melendez (D-Fla.) released the following statement:
As we’ve seen over the past 238 days, no matter how many times Norm Coleman goes to court, the result of the election never changes: Al Franken earned more votes than Norm Coleman. Al Franken was elected to the Senate and he ought to be able to get to work for the people of Minnesota. We’ve always said that Norm Coleman deserved his day in court, and he got eight months. Now we expect Governor Pawlenty to do the right thing, follow the law, and sign the election certificate. From health care to the Supreme Court to getting our economy moving again, the challenges facing us are complex and we need Al Franken in the Senate. In this historic and urgent moment in our history, Minnesotans have gone long enough without full representation. Al Franken will be an critical voice on the issues before us and it’s time to let him get to work.”
Over 2.4 million ballots were cast in the race and Franken prevailed by a razor-thin 324 votes. Franken and Coleman are set to hold news conferences later today.
UPDATE: Coleman concedes.