Al Franken Ups His Lead As Conservatives Begin To Abandon Norm Coleman

Things are looking very bleak for Norm Coleman and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Norm Coleman has just made his appeal more difficult. Al Frank

Things are looking very bleak for Norm Coleman and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Norm Coleman has just made his appeal more difficult.

Al Franken extended his lead in the Minnesota Senate race to 312 votes Tuesday, after about 350 improperly rejected absentee ballots were added to the ballot pool. The total is 87 more votes than Franken led by at the beginning of the day and all but assures that Coleman’s current court challenge will fail.

Coleman’s lawyers have indicated they had little chance, given the small number of absentee ballots added to the count, and have signaled they will appeal to the state Supreme Court and possibly federal court.

But further appeals were actually made more difficult by the Coleman campaign’s challenge, which sought to add thousands of rejected absentee ballots to the count but wound up with fewer than 400 ballots, which wound up breaking sharply for Franken.

And now the NRO's Ramesh Ponnuru just issued a few words that Coleman does not want to hear from his conservative brethren.

I think it's time for him to give up this fight.

Gov. Pawlenty was on MSNBC a few days ago and he refused to say much about what he will do, but did say that the case is probably going to the state Supreme court. He tried to say that Al Franken might be the one to take it there.

Ginsberg also projected optimism that the state Supreme Court would be a more amenable venue for Coleman to press his case. Franken attorney Marc Elias suggested it is time for Coleman to give up litigating his loss and allow the state to have two senators.

“The question is not whether he has the right to appeal, but whether filing an appeal is the right thing for Minnesota,” Elias said.

It's very likely that the ruling will go Al Franken's way and he would be the winner so at that point Pawlenty will be called upon to issue the certificate to Al Franken. That's when Harry Reid must seat him as the Senator from Minnesota. Pawlenty's state is getting very frustrated by this and it's disgusting that Republicans are so openly suggesting that this seat should be tied up for years in court and want to use Gore V Bush as precendent.

Moreover, Raju says, the Republicans advancing this idea are looking to an infamous precedent -- Bush v. Gore, the case that ended the recount in Florida following the 2000 presidential election. Raju quotes Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as saying, "The Supreme Court in 2000 said in Bush v. Gore that there is an equal protection element of making sure there is a uniform standard by which votes are counted or not counted, and I think that’s a very serious concern in this instance." Other prominent GOP senators have also made similar arguments.

Have they no decency?

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