Franken Wins Key Ruling; Coleman Sees Court Fight

Election may result in court battle
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2008 10:46 PM CST
Al Franken took a step closer to a US Senate seat when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in his favor on what could be a pivotal issue.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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(Newser) – Norm Coleman lost a key court battle today in the endless Minnesota recount, Politico reports. The decision virtually ensures that his race with Al Franken will be contested in the courts after the Senate convenes Jan. 6. Coleman sought to have a state panel hold off certifying the final vote tally until charges of double-counting are resolved. Minnesota's Supreme Court denied his request but said Coleman could take up the matter in litigation later.

"Minnesotans simply will not support an election as close as this being decided by some votes being counted twice," said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak. "This is close enough so that inevitably as a result of this decision, either party is going to be filing a lawsuit." Franken leads by 48 votes; another 1,600 absentee ballots have yet to be counted, though Franken is expected to retain his lead once they are done.