Posted: February 5, 2009
Coleman and Franken attorneys argue before MN Supreme Court over election certificate
hearing in Franken v. Pawlenty interrupted the Coleman v. Franken contest for an hour this morning. Franken's attorney argued that, even though the Senate may seat whoever they want whenever they want, the Minnesota Supreme Court should order the issuance of an election certificate. He argued that the statute governing the issuance of a certificate, 204C.40 subd. 2, is “fundamentally ambiguous” and should be interpreted so as to avoid a constitutional question. He also pointed out that a rule that doesn’t allow for the issuance of election certificates until contests brought by candidates or voters are completed and have gone through the appeal process could result in seats going unfilled for very long periods of time. Coleman and Minnesota's Solicitor General argued in favor of waiting until the election contest is complete before an election certificate may be issued saying that the statute clearly requires this and that federal law establishes no deadline for the states to issue election certificates. It is not yet known when the Court will rule on this matter. See the Star Tribune coverage here.