Franken leads +312.
Number of valid ballots (absentee or otherwise) remaining to be examined by a court of law and counted by the Secretary of State's office of Minnesota: 0.
A ruling from the Election Contest Court (ECC) but not the one we are hoping for.....
What there is is just past the fold.......
The ECC Orders
Yes they actually issued an order but obviously NOT the one(s) we are all waiting for. The Court addressed the "Nauen61", the group of absentee voters and their ballots that were brought to the ECC in a parallel case to the Coleman v. Franken dance of the elephants. 35 of those ballots were admitted and were part of the Tuesday, April 7 count of 351 (that boosted Franken's lead to +312.).
The order, issued Friday, dismissed the rest, formally and officially. So thats that..... except of course that decision can ALSO be appealled to the MN Supreme court. SOoooo... we'll see.
(The court clerk who brought in the order to an anxious press crowd also announced "no further orders were expected for the weekend", so the media all got to spend the weekend doing Easter/Passover/Pastafarian stuff.)
MN Supreme Court Line-Up
Blogger SenateGuru over at MN Progressive Project has a short report on the MN Supreme Court from the "who appointed who" angle. The Court has 7 members. 2 of these, Chief Justice Magnuson and Associate Justice Barry Anderson, were on the State Canvassing Board and have recused themselves from hearing any of the Coleman-Franken case.
That leaves 5. All Justices serve staggered 6 year terms and reach the bench (usually) by appointment by the governor (which is then subject to the voters in the next general election) or by direct election.
Now just to smack down the Bachmannite (sounds like a perverted form of kryptonite, but gooey and smelly) mouth-breathers who are getting ready to say "Stolen election. Democrat judges, liberal, democrat, activist, blah, blah..."
Justice Christopher Dietzen was Pawlenty's campaign attorney in his 2002 run for governor.
Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea (now THERE is a Scandinavian name!) was also appointed by Pawlenty. Her husband is a player in the MN House Republican Caucus (not as an elected type, but in a hired capacity.)
Justice Paul Anderson was appointed by a Governor Arne Carlson, a R-Normal, in the days before Gingrich re-enacted Mussolini's "March on Rome."
Justice Helen Meyer was appointed by Governor Ventura, a Ind-Colorful.
And Justice Alan Page was never appointed--- just won the seat by popular vote when matched up against another appointee (see; its not automatic.)
So for the mouth-breathers keeping score with their crayons in the margin of their copy of "My Pet Goat" thats 3 appointed by Republicans, 1 by an Independent, and 1 elected. Should be a slam-dunk for Norm, right? You can just keep thinking that....
Actually I think it WILL be a slam dunk but there is little to suggest these justices will be anything but scrupulously fair.
PS. BTW, Justice Barry Anderson? The one who took himself out of the case? He was appointed by Pawlenty and faced the voters the first time in 2006. The MNGOP endorsed him in his election run (even though judicial elections are non-partisan; no party ID shows up on the ballot, but any group can endorse somebody for publicity purposes.) Anderson came out with a public statement (really rare in a judicial election) and said, a) he declined the endorsement, and b) such endorsements have no place in the administration of justice. The MNGOP was struck stupid (alright they were more than halfway there but still... great to hear.) My kind of judge. And those are words that should be carved on stone tablets and hung by a neck brace in front of the eyes of Scalia and Alito and Thomas.
Gaming the Norm Game
While you're over at the MN Progressive project check out Grace Kelly's piece. Grace thinks the ECC will rule this week but even if they don't the equation is turning against Coleman and the Republicans. Their big plus at the national level has been of course keeping one more Democratic vote out of the Senate. At the moment of course with Congress in recess for Easter/Passover the advantage is moot.
But according to Grace the minuses keep gaining weight:
1) The Rethug "image," already putrid, will NOT be helped by Norm's on-going legal problems with Kaziminy down in Texas. That case has skunk oil flying off it like a propeller blade and Norm is standing on the tarmac.
2) Pawlenty's presidential prospects (both his own and those "handlers" who think a nice-looking Midwest governor might be an appealing face for 2012) are in a bind on whether and when to sign off on an Election Certificate.
3) In the courts (esp. federal) the Rethugs would have to publicly support transparent, auditable elections and have to come out AGAINST having 5 times more voting machines/ voter in gated communities than in inner city "ethnic communities".... on grounds of "equal protection!" Not only would that be genetically impossible but they would never win/steal another election.... even in Alabama.
So Grace thinks the calculus is swinging toward the puppet masters telling Norm its time to concede. Hope so, Grace.... and we'll see.
Well as you can see there's not much. I'm going to tackle the taxes today since I've got the day off (those 2 items should NOT go together but....sigh..... they do.) But I WILL have a second cup of coffee with you from here, yust southeast of Lake Wobegon.