2. The way it works is that the STATES take the lead, though.
It's the STATE that has to send the Senator to DC. Pawlenty is the one being the jerk. After the Senate inserted themselves into the Obama replacement mess, with mixed results, they're gun shy.
The citizens of Minnesota need to maybe demonstrate in front of Pawlenty's office, or something. Call him a partisan dickhead. An obstructor. A jerk who blocks the will of the people. A martinet. A dictator. You get the idea...
The court is hewing to a GOP agenda. They could stretch this to absurd lengths and turn around and rule, capriciously, that a new election is in order--that would make them just like the Bush v Gore crew--a buncha assholes.
58. The Coleman camp requested that much time for putting together their written briefs.
Franken's legal team requested less time, but the Court granted the longer time period.
Keep in mind, Coleman waited until just this past Monday to file his appeal -- he had 10 days to do so from the date of the 3-Judge Panel's ruling, and of course stretched out the time to the last minute (being the asshole that he is). The MN Supreme Court responded pretty much as soon as possible.
The Court is giving itself 2 weeks to examine the written briefs before hearing oral arguments. One of the legal experts on the aforementioned panel discussion said that the Court will probably have most of its ruling already prepared by the time of the oral arguments, so the final ruling should follow quite quickly after that date.
It will all be over by mid to late June, hopefully.
7. Yeah, it sucks. However, once the MN Supreme Court rules, it's over.
At that point, if the SSC rules in Franken's favor, state law mandates the election certificate will have to be signed. And if our asshole repuke governor won't do it, THEN it will be time for the U.S. Senate to step in and insist on seating Franken -- even if Coleman tries to appeal to the SCOTUS.
We Minnesotans are letting the legal process run its course, even though it's frustrating as hell. In the long run, though, I think it's for the best. By letting the process play out without partisan interference on the part of the national Democrats, it leaves the Repugs with no good cause to complain.
Sure, they'll complain anyway, but very few people will take them seriously after everything that's been done to accomodate Coleman.
49. No. State law says that once the State Supreme Court has ruled, that's it.
Our Supreme Court will rule in mid-June. They can order that the election certificate then be signed and the winner seated.
Even if Coleman takes his case to the SCOTUS, MN election law will have been fulfilled by the State Supreme Court ruling and an appeal to the Federal courts is no barrier to the state issuing an election certificate.
Our repug governor could still balk, but he will have no legal standing to do so, and he may not want to risk pissing off a million Minnesotans who are damn sick of how long this has been dragged out already.
One of the legal experts on a recent Minnesota public television political panel brought up an interesting point about Pawlenty -- if Pawlenty has presidential ambitions, he may try to refuse to sign the election certificate in order to please the RNC. But if he wants to run for governor again (he hasn't announced either way yet), he'll have to sign the certificate once the MN Supreme Court has ruled because it would kill his re-election chances if he doesn't.
In any case, the U.S. Senate CAN chose to seat Franken after the MN SC has ruled (assuming they uphold the current 3-Judge Panel ruling that Franken won the election).
I think the best strategy at this point is to wait for the MN Supreme Court to rule, and if they rule in Franken's favor -- which all the legal experts agree is the likely outcome -- then we exert every pressure we can mount to get him seated immediately and tell Coleman and the RNC to go piss up a rope.
I don't think there'll be any patience for more game playing.
Minnesota has historically been a Democratic state; trending a bit more Republican in recent years, but that seems to be reversing. The only reason we ended up with Pawlenty (and Michelle Bachman, too, btw) is because we keep getting Independence Party candidates showing up on our ballots acting as spoilers. Pawlenty got way less than 50% of the votes, but in a three-way race he had the plurality.
That was part of the problem with the Senate race, too. Both Franken and Coleman each ended up with 42%, while the Independence party candidate got the rest. It made it more likely that there'd be no clear majority winner.
A lot of people have been pushing for IRV due to this continuing third party problem, but of course the Repugs are fighting against it because they always end up having the advantage in these three-way races. It's a crappy paradox -- more people vote AGAINST the Repugs than vote FOR them, but they end up winning because the non-Repug vote is split. :(
Mister Ed Donating Member (859 posts) Fri Apr-24-09 10:46 PM Response to Reply #36 49. MN DUer here
I've been following this closely since November 5th. I can't claim that makes me someone who knows what's going on, but I'll give you my take on it.
I think the reason the MN Supreme Court allowed Coleman such a long time to prepare for the hearing is simply that he asked them to. I think they would have done the same for Franken if he had asked. Why? Because this is such an important matter, and they want to make sure no one has cause for complaint - at least not legal complaint. The three-judge panel allowed Coleman five weeks to try to make his case. They never once asked him to hurry it up, because they wanted to make sure he couldn't claim on appeal that he had not been given due process. I think the MN Supreme Court is thinking along those same lines.
What you say is true. The MN Supreme Court is widely viewed as being fair, judicious, and nonpartisan. I anticipate that they will rule in favor of Franken, because Coleman simply doesn't have a case. I also predict that they will do Governor Pawlenty a big favor and order him to issue an election certificate. That would get him off the hook with the GOP ("Hey, my hands are tied!").
It's become crystal clear to me that Coleman is doing all he legally can do to delay the inevitable seating of the winner of this close election. The fact that the courts have accommodated him does not mean they're complicit. He's operating within his legal rights, and the courts are upholding the law.
Had the courts moved as fairly and deliberately in Bush v. Gore in the 2000 election as the MN courts have done in this election, then Al Gore would have been the president. If Florida's election system was as good as that of MN, then Gore clearly would have been declared the winner there. This will be done in June when the MN Supreme court declares Franken to be the winner and orders that he be certified the winner. Pawlenty will have political cover and have no choice but to certify him and Al Franken will go to Washington.
I am certain that most voters in MN want Franken to be seated as we do. It's their system, their state and if they can endure this to its conclusion we should be able to endure also.
11. MN Supreme Court has a good reputation for being fair, judicious, and nonpartisan.
I trust them to do what is right. I am sure Franken would have been given as much time and consideration if he had been the one behind after the recount. Had Franken been the one behind we would have been screaming bloody murder here if it appeared that the MN courts were rushing to declare Coleman the winner.
I believe that anyone who lives in a state whose court and election system is as good and fair as that of MN should feel free to cast stones at that state and how they run their affairs.
47. Our Dem Secretary of State has proposed eliminating the current absentee ballot system and replacing
it with early voting. I don't have a link to all the details, but it sounds like a very good and workable proposal. Ballots would be scanned right then and there at the polling stations instead of being held back until election night. The results, of course, would not be released until all voting is completed on election day.
The state legislature may also take a look at writing a provisional seating law, so that the presumptive winner of a close election -- after the state-mandated recount -- can be seated even if there is a court appeal. It would be modeled on the laws that are already in place in most other states -- Minnesota is one of a very few states that do not provide for provisional seating during an election contest.
50. Yes, it was very apparent this past election that most absentee ballots were really just
about people wanting to vote early.
Regarding the counting of absentee ballots; I've worked as an election judge in several MN elections and I can assure you that they are counted on election night along with all the other votes cast at that precinct.
60. Minnesota doesn't allow e-voting. Paper ballots only.
They get run through scanners to get counted, but as the statewide recount showed, there's very little variance between the scanner counts and hand counts -- something like maybe one vote out of 100,000. (I forget the exact percentage, but it's very very low)
22. I'm not from MN, but I can see the MN bluffs from my house.
I do get a lot of info about this case from MN Public Radio which is on top of it. I think the criteria was set for seating a senator when certification from the governor and secretary of state was required to seat Burris from IL who was taking Obama's old seat.
In regard to Bush and Gore, that was neither the MN election process or judicial system that decided that. If Franken were the one behind I am certain that we would demand that he be given the same consideration that Coleman has received.
Friday's "Almanac" program had a great panel discussion about this. All four legal experts on the panel agreed that the three-judge panel that ruled on the election contest did a bang-up job of shooting down all of Coleman's arguments.
They were also pretty sure that the MN Supreme Court ruling would be the end of it.
29. No, I'm too far away here in La Crosse, but get MN Public Radio out of La Crescent.
I have listened to many programs which had experts who were impressed with how the three-judge panel handled this case and with all of their decisions being unanimous. Yes, all also believed that the MN Supreme Court would end it and order that Franken be certified the winner.
I have been following this race since Al Franken announced and have recently shared your frustration. I'm in NY District 20, worked for the Scott Murphy campaign, and we've been experiencing the same kind of challenges and delays from Scott's Republican opponent. The special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's now vacant Congressional seat was on March 31st and Jim Tedisco finally conceded just yesterday. And I thought it was taking way too long for us... :eyes:
My cousin lives just outside of Minneapolis and reminded me to vote. LOL. I reminded him to vote for Al Franken... ;)
To contest a very close election is one thing. But to ignore a laborious and costly recount, not to mention court rulings, is just sheer pigheadedness. Here in NY, we've often made comparisons to the controversy in Minnesota during the past few weeks. Now I realize that there's no comparison. Jim Tedisco saw the handwriting on the wall when Scott Murphy's lead increased to 401 votes, not a lot, but on election night it was a mere 65! Norm Coleman is just making a fool of himself. x(
I've often said that, with Al Franken in the Senate, C-Span will be much more entertaining... :D
41. So am I, LOL. He'll definitely shake things up!!!
I miss seeing him on the TV machine, loved his AAR show. It used to be repeated (an hour of it), weeknights, on Sundance, and I rarely missed it. The man should have been a teacher, he made the issues so clear. I always learned something. "What have we learned?" LOL. And he should do wonders for C-Span's ratings... ;)
He said on Bill Maher's show that the refusal to acknowledge Franken's victory was "ridiculous, and everybody knows it." Maher said, "well, what about Florida, 2000?" Howard responded instantly with "that was ridiculous, and everybody knew it." To thundering applause, I might add.
53. Look at it this way- Coleman can't be seated either.
He's effectively neutralized himself at the same time, so at least he can do no real harm (other than preventing Franken from voting) in the mean time. Have there honestly been any votes so far that would have pivoted on either of them? (I'm asking because I don't know. I'm not trying to be facetious.)
It's a game everyone seems to have willingly bought into, so let the process play itself out. Another month and it'll be settled and Franken WILL be seated.
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