A Lump Of Coal In His Stocking

To Norm Coleman from the Minnesota Supreme Court:

The Minnesota Supreme Court today denied a bid by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) to force the state Canvassing Board to consider his campaign’s claim that some votes in strongholds of Al Franken (D) were counted twice, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Most observers consider this a major blow to Coleman’s chances to prevail in the recount that began on November 19. Current unofficial results show Franken with a lead of 47 votes.

The Supreme Court ruled that the courts, not the state Canvassing Board, is the appropriate body to resolve Coleman’s claims about “duplicate” ballots.  And since Coleman hasn’t been able to produce much evidence to support his allegations, it’s questionable if he can succeed via a court battle.

The Franken campaign, on the other hand, is optimistic about their chances:

The Franken campaign was jubilant after the Supreme Court ruling and expressed confidence that the election outcome would not be delayed by a court challenge over those ballots.

“We win in Supreme Court,” Franken spokesman Andy Barr said after the release of the 5-0 opinion written by Justice Alan Page. “The process can move forward despite attempts to halt its progress and cast doubt on the result.”

Franken is leading by 50 votes and Coleman is running out of things to challenge.  If he can’t find a friendly court to deal with this, that 50 vote gap will be big enough to kick Coleman out of  his Senate seat for good.

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