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Al Franken’s courtroom setback
Minnesota's recount saga continues after judges send Norm Coleman's recount challenge to trial
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hat happened
A three-judge panel in Minnesota rejected Al Franken’s attempt to block Norm Coleman’s lawsuit challenging the recount that gave Franken a narrow victory. A lawyer for the Republican Coleman called the decision a “stinging defeat for Al Franken.” A lawyer for Franken, a Democrat, said, “We look forward to the trial.” (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune)

What the commentators said
Great, said David Hauslib in Jossip. “Just when you thought Minnesota could be a state we no longer had to concern ourselves with,” the judges ruined everything. Franken had “all but declared victory” and the Democratic Senate was ready to seat him, but now “this whole legal fracas” will continue.

As it should, said Edward B. Foley in Ohio State University’s Election Law @ Moritz blog. Franken’s main argument was that the court should butt out because the Senate has ultimate authority to decide which candidate won. But that argument never had a chance, and the “ruling shows that the contest is proceeding in an orderly, legally appropriate way.”

Coleman’s still a long-shot now, said Gary Larson in Human Events. Franken probably sealed his victory thanks to votes from felons and other illegal voters on election day, and “double-counted ballots” in the aftermath. “Unless a Hail Mary pass in final proceedings propels incumbent Sen. Coleman back into the lead, fraud will have won. Period.”

Franken's camp says it's Coleman who isn't playing fair, said Eric Kleefeld in Talking Points Memo. In pre-trial motions, an attorney for Franken made the "striking accusation" that the Coleman campaign has doctored evidence. The intrigue isn't over.

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