Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The panel of three judges overseeing the legal proceedings surrounding Minnesota’s 2008 Senate election has declared DFL candidate Al Franken the winner over Republican Norm Coleman, by a margin of 312 votes.

Coleman has ten days to appeal the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and has said he intends to do so, but has not yet filed a notice of appeal.

Minnesota has been without a second senator since Coleman’s term expired in January. A close result narrowly favoring Coleman in the initial election result in November triggered an automatic recount; during the course of that recount Franken slowly but steadily gained a few hundred additional votes, enough to put him in the lead.

Both the Minnesota Secretary of State and Governor have refused to certify the results of the election without a final court decision and the United States Senate’s Democratic majority has said that the winner will not be seated until all court cases in Minnesota — of which Coleman’s appeal to the Supreme Court would be the last — have been resolved.