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article imageColeman Appeals Franken Ruling Again Special

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By Stephen Dohnberg     Apr 20, 2009 in Politics
After more than five months since a close election race in Minnesota, and a decision in favour of Franken in the lower courts, Coleman files an appeal to take the decision to the MN Supreme Court.
With a 2 to 8 week window open until oral arguments are heard, it could be almost be in May until the Minnesota Supreme Court hears any presentation of Norm Coleman's appeal in the seemingly endless U.S. Senate race.
Could Minnesota not end up seating a second Senator until June?!
After a 7-week long trial by a three judge panel in the lower courts of Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman refuses to concede his loss to challenger Al Franken.
Coleman filed a notice of appeal declaring he wants the Supreme Court of MN to overturn the lower court's ruling.
Filing with the Minnesota Supreme Court, Coleman this afternoon appealed the rulings of the three-judge panel that declared last week that Al Franken received the most votes and that the 2008 U.S. Senate election was a properly executed election.
Norm Coleman outside the RNC  St. Paul  MN
Norm Coleman speaking with reporters
Stephen Dohnberg
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In a tightly moderated conference call, lawyers for the Coleman team, Ben Ginsberg and Jim Langdon fielded a number of questions but essentially argued that Coleman believes in "enfranchising voters, not disenfranchising voters". When a Pioneer Press reporter asked why Team Coleman thinks any newly opened ballots would favour Coleman, they responded that opened ballots were from areas that favoured Franken, but also that "you never know what one ballot with hold."
The state Supreme Court must now set a briefing schedule.
The chief legal spokesperson, Ben Ginsberg,noted that "We do believe that the district court got it wrong on the law … Their decision disenfranchises many Minnesotans."
The Coleman side, according to Langdon, holds more hope of the MN Supreme Court treating their case favourably when it makes its presentation. The believe trial judges Elizabeth Hayden, Kurt Marben and Denise Reilly "may have been constrained" by past Minnesota Supreme Court cases. This reasons that the Supreme Court can take a broader view of the case the state Supreme Court and "can make new law".
At 4:45, the Franken Team also held a conference call. Speaking of the Coleman appeal, campaign representative Mark Elias said "with effect to the merits of the claim, it's the same old same old...what we have now are the death throes of the Coleman legal effort."
Elias was empathetic, reflecting on how emotional and exhausting these efforts can be, but noted "at some point, they (team Coleman) have to accept the reality of what it really is"
As the dates and times are declared in this continually unfolding case, Minnesotans still remain unrepresented in the Senate with an unseated member, and one can only speculate as to the the tax burden this presents to citizens.
With regard to the the appeal, the Coleman team can not present any new legal evidence. The burden of proof continues with the Coleman case.
A 'Statement of the Case of Appellants' can be viewed here.
Additional highlights and a replay of the Coleman and Franken conference calls can be heard via theuptake.org's Mogulus Channel.
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