RSS
Al Franken's recount victory
Should Norm Coleman appeal the recount ruling, or bow out?
 

What happened
A three-judge state panel on Monday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner, by 312 votes, in Minnesota's Senate recount. Lawyers for Republican Norm Coleman, who has vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court, said the ruling denies many valid votes. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

What the commentators said
"Norm Coleman has a legal right to appeal," said blogger Hilzoy in The Washington Monthly. But that doesn't mean it's "the right thing to do." The Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman recount has dragged on for five months and Coleman's remote chance of success doesn't justify depriving the state of a second senator any longer.

Even some conservatives are ready to throw in the towel, said Matthew Vadum in The American Spectator. But Franken is "manifestly unsuited for public office"— he's a tax evader who preaches class warfare. There were enough irregularities in this election and recount to fill a book, so Coleman shouldn't give up simply because Franken had better lawyers.

An appeal is unlikely to yield a different result, said Loyola Law School professor Rick Hasen in his Election Law Blog. The recount judges carefully considered and rejected the arguments Coleman could make, and found that the state followed uniform standards. At this point, the best thing for Coleman's political future might be to "bow out gracefully."

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week