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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.


Originally posted to WineRev on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for taxes (185+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff in CA, kate mckinnon, Bear, alisonk, mattman, RunawayRose, rincewind, redlief, mslat27, celdd, freelunch, TexasLiberal, Bob Friend, MMinNY, Heart of the Rockies, dpc, justme, mmacdDE, peace voter, mikidee, mnkid, egarratt, Cedwyn, rjnerd, LegacyLDad, rockhound, count, Matt Esler, kfred, parryander, snowbird42, Julie Gulden, luvmovies2000, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, greycat, seesdifferent, sc kitty, PBen, kamarvt, wildcat6, Pam from Calif, Grep Agni, skralyx, Phil S 33, bjedward, Marcus Junius Brutus, shiobhan, wiscmass, SharaiP, Pinko Elephant, myboo, Ellicatt, darthstar, 123frenchwine, Eloise, tecampbell, birdbrain64, gooderservice, pi1304, JVolvo, bleeding heart, myrealname, llbear, IL clb, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, djalix976, norahc, Temmoku, mapman, NonnyO, AmericanRiverCanyon, bear83, dotsright, Loudoun County Dem, SouthernFried, vets74, linkage, threegoal, Allogenes, DWG, Seneca Doane, mcgee85, manwithnoname, vbdietz, NorthlandLiberal, Headlight, feelingsickinMN, TeacherH, LynneK, Empower Ink, gizmo59, VA Breeze, W T F, MKinTN, JoeW, MT Clarity, ParisBob, ratador, OleHippieChick, elwior, Cat Servant, Pam Bennett, Greasy Grant, pamelabrown, carver, iowa67, luckylizard, BlueStateRedhead, HoosierDeb, dmhlt 66, revelwoodie, lgcap, lostboyjim, oldliberal, Fiddlegirl, multilee, MTmarilyn, bsmechanic, DemocraticOz, janmtairy, WiseFerret, velvet blasphemy, earicicle, DefendOurConstitution, MooseHB, obscuresportsquarterly, Denversk, Dragon5616, Oldengrey, davespicer, oldoregonlib, xsonogall, Lazar, Norbrook, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, OrangeMike, awcomeon, RBinDLH, Vacationland, LaughingPlanet, leftywright, Doc D, fidellio, chrome327, ColoradAnne, wvmom, ItsSimpleSimon, Benintn, Anne933, Puddytat, NYWheeler, sharonsz, pateTX, addisnana, Dalarna, rja, Betty Pinson, MsGrin, tenar, CA Berkeley WV, sidious666, okliberal, nampa45, SuperBowlXX, annominous, Linda in Ohio, Meggie, ontheleftcoast, Zinger in VA, kevin k, blueinmn, rvdee, molunkusmol, zukesgirl64, buddingactivist, mniowan, tenzen, IL JimP, Nola Sue, ABowers13, lizzie blue, Aquagranny911, Archie2227, Solarian

    "the price we pay for living in our civilization" or something close to that from Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    At least NOW they will be much better spent...


    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 05:44:16 AM PDT

  •  I have this little routine that has developed (15+ / 0-)

    over the last few months...

    1. Get up, have coffee, fire up computer
    1. Check page for any new rulings
    1. Check for any news
    1. Go to kos, find winerev's diary to see what his take is, given that there is (usually) no news the other two places
    1. skim other kos articles
    1. read my email
    1. shower and go about the rest of the day

    I'm almost afraid to estimate how many cumulative hours I've wasted on this recount/trial.

  •  They are sure taking their time... (0+ / 0-)

    I would have thought they would have done a huge document dump by now with all of their decisions..

  •  Scope of federal case? (8+ / 0-)

       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 here's a question.  I know that in the last 20 years the SCOTUS tends to focus the scope of any of their rulings like a laser.  Bush v. Gore is an exception in that it explicitly said, "one time only ruling", but the fact is that all their rulings are very narrowly defined.  

    What could happen if a "honest" Equal Protection argument were brought before the court?  What if a federal court had to look at maps detailing the  distribution of voting machines/average time to vote with an overlay of a map of political affiliation or income level?

    Instead of seeing this appeal as a miscarriage of justice and rain on our parade, maybe we should be looking forward to getting in front of the SCOTUS with just such graphs and charts, and shoving Equal Protection in the last Ohio election down the Republican's throats.

    Hey, you guys lost. It's supposed to taste like a s**t taco. -- Jon Stewart

    by lostboyjim on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:07:51 AM PDT

    •  In a good world (4+ / 0-)

      THAT would be a case worthy of the the Highest Court in the Land.

      But the Highest Court in the Land is infected with Scalia-Thomas-Alito Syndrome and the Chief Justice is thought to have several symptoms too, so better to wait until those deadweights are heaved overboard somehow.


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:14:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not like MN doesn't have an EP clause (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rincewind, mmacdDE, vets74, LynneK, luckylizard

      in its Constitution which its Supreme Court is perfectly well qualified to implement if someone has a problem over it. This is a federal issue only after the state has declined to take appropriate - if any - action.

      Why is it supposed that only SCOTUS protects our rights?

      Ignorance isn't exactly bliss but some things are better known when they are unknown to start with and pieced together on the way. - WineRev

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:18:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  jim: Agree with you about the tendency (7+ / 0-)

      of this SCOTUS to "focus...their rulings like a laser." I think that's due in part to the fact that four or five of the current justices find themselves fighting against the precedents set by the Warren and Burger courts. So instead of sweeping rulings overturning such landmark cases as Griswold, Roe, Miranda or Escobedo, they're engaged in a chipping-away process to narrow the effects without tossing the stare decisis principle aside altogether.

      As far as bringing an "honest" equal protection case before the supreme court, it's an interesting question. The best parallel I can think of is the series of cases begun by Baker v. Carr (1963) which opened the door by finding exceptions to the so-called "political question" doctrine. Prior to Baker, reapportionment (and many other election matters) had been off the table as being essentially political and, thus, beyond the scope of court review. Baker's progeny (especially Gray v. Sanders) established the famous "one-man, one vote" standard, which was decidedly an application of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

      In the intervening years, this line of Federal redistricting and reapportionment cases has not, to my knowledge, been expanded significantly to include review of post-election contests on 14th Amendment grounds. If for no other reason, finding remedies after the fact is a near-intractable problem. Short of voiding an election, or somehow artificially adjusting it statistically, what can the court do?

      Bush v. Gore was a strange, strange anomaly since the circumstances of that case allowed a politically motivated court to craft a sneaky remedy: run out the clock. But I think a deep reading of the majority opinions in Bush makes it clear the court wanted no part of opening the door to a future line of post-election or mid-election equal protection cases.

      Coleman's case is less important but hardly less bizarre. When you hear folks like Cornyn, Sessions and--lord have mercy!--even Orin Hatch extolling the virtues of Coleman's "equal protection rights", you know there's mischief afoot. In truth, neither they nor the right wing of the Supreme Court want anything to do with expanding the courts' role in applying equal protection to elections. Nada, not a bit.

      [Adding to the problem of crafting a remedy is the common-sense observation that there's never been (and never will be) an election that is 100% "equal". Developing court-applied criteria to establish a bright line separating normal disparities and justiciable unlawful disparities would certainly be a challenge.

      And while SCOTUS may have suggested in Bush that the absence of standards might constitute an EP violation, Coleman seeks a quantuum leap beyond that to include post-election review of situations where there are standards, but not everyone implemented the standards exactly the same. Further, he makes this claim without having proven any disparate effect or demonstrable one-sided prejudice. Whew! Good luck getting Roberts or Kennedy to buy into that, Normie boy!]

      But getting back to the question of an "honest" case brought on, say, distribution of voting machines, I think it's extremely unlikely that you'll see this supreme court apply equal protection expansively in a post-election context.

      [As things stand now, lower courts occasionally tinker with mid-election proceedings (think of those election-day orders to keep a few polling places open later to allow people to vote in clogged precincts), but that's very nearly the scope of it, and even those interventions are usually pursuant to a state statute. I doubt that any high court is currently open for equal protection business after an election.]

      The approach with the best odds of success, I would think, would be a suit brought before an election, arguing that the state's plan for distributing election machines violates equal protection. The best plaintiff would be a voter, or class of voters--not a candidate--capable of establishing standing in the tradition of Baker and/or Grey.

      It's an interesting subject of speculation, but it's just that: speculation.

      Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

      by TerribleTom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:10:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is why I come to Daily Kos (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I usually learn something from someone more knowledgeable than me. Thank you.

      •  Thanks for good view (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, TerribleTom

        Really enjoy your comments on various legal issues.  This one states exactly why I think Coleman does NOT have a legal protection case base on Bush v Gore.

        A picky question - why do you think Roberts is less radical than Scalia, Alito and Thomas?  I can't think of a single case where he provided the vote needed to keep their votes from forming a majority. He looks and sounds intelligent and reasonable but he votes like the right wing loonies as far as I have seen.

        •  SCOTUS split decisions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Among the 5-4 cases not decided along liberal-conservatives lines in OT07, one featured a majority comprised of the Chief Justice and Justices Stevens, Souter, Thomas, and Breyer in the majority (Kentucky Retirement); one featured the Chief Justice and Justices Stevens, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito (Irizarry); one featured the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Alito (Ali v. BoP); and one featured Justices Stevens, Scalia, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg (Santos).

 has similar analysis for other years.

        •  I don't consider Roberts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          as moderate in the least.

          I simply didn't use Scalia or Thomas (above) because they participated in Bush v Gore and I didn't want to confound that. Plus, they're more generally perceived as being the most overt idealogues. Like you, I'd be hard pressed to come up with an example of Roberts having had an actual moderating influence in any case, much less a swing vote.

          I wouldn't want to live on the difference between Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts. Peas in a pod, if you ask me.

          (And, of course, Kennedy is the real swing vote.)

          Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

          by TerribleTom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:17:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great links, Allen03! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            There have been a few interesting combinations, haven't there? There is that one (Kentucky Retirement) that has Roberts on opposite sides from Alito, Scalia and Thomas. I hadn't realized we'd seen that particular division.

            Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

            by TerribleTom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:26:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's just the 5-4's (0+ / 0-)

              There may be some 6-3's where Roberts sided with the "liberals", but I was only looking for the situation ABowers13 mentioned, where Roberts "cast the deciding vote".

              •  Whoops! Gotta retract something... (0+ / 0-)

                With respect to the Kentucky Retirement case: My initial scan of the lists was wrong. On second read, the majority in that case consisted of Roberts, Stevens, Souter, Thomas, and Breyer.

                I'm still not seeing one in which Roberts broke ranks with all three of his soulmates (e.g., Alito, Thomas and Scalia).

                Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

                by TerribleTom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:30:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Good Argument for Dietzen's recusal. . . (6+ / 0-)


    He contributed to Coleman in 2004, thus in this election cycle.

    •  OOooh nice catch! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rincewind, TerribleTom, LynneK, dmhlt 66

      Any of the lawyer types want to weigh in on that?

      Also there has been a little grousing here and there that Alan Page should recuse himself since he is the one who chose the 3 judges for the ECC. I think thats in a different league since he didn't have anything to do with the facts of the case or the legal issues. He just named the judges.

      Another sort of meta issue for the lawyer types here:
      7 judges on the MN Supreme Ct. 2 have recused for good reason. If Dietzen should also "step back" (to coin a phrase!) that would leave 4... a bare quorum. Can the Court function like that? Would their opinion/ruling carry the required legal weight?

      Thoughts? Rincewind? Underwhelm? Allen03? TerribleTom? Clem? Anybody who remembers Perry Mason?


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:30:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  decide vs precedent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rincewind, TerribleTom, LynneK

        The court can decide a case with as many judges as haven't recused. Their decision loses precedential value, however.

        •  Nods at underwhelm, adding... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          underwhelm, rincewind

          In the case of a 2-2 tie, the ECC's ruling would stand.

          As for Page recusing himself, I don't see that as being necessary in the least. In the absence of the Chief Justice, his appointment of the ECC judges was a statutory duty that in no way suggests bias or creates a reasonable appearance of bias IMHO.

          Interestingly, there's a juicy case on recusal before SCOTUS right now, involving a West Virginia judge who received major campaign contributions from a litigant.

          A fun tidbit from the oral arguments:

          Roberts asked whether it would be grounds for recusal if a judge and a lawyer appearing before him were "very close friends" or "were at each other's weddings."

          Olson replied that was an impractical standard. "If that was a basis for a recusal, you would have to be recusing all the time."

          re Olson: Remember him as Bush's lawyer in B v G? What made this exchange hillarious is that Justice Kennedy apparently attended Olson's wedding in 2006.  

          Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

          by TerribleTom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:28:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When did Dietzen go onto the Court? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If it was after 1/1/04, I don't care. If he donated to Coleman as a Justice, I see a problem.

      •  I don't think that's relevant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch, LynneK, dmhlt 66

        According to Canon 3 of the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct:

        (1) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where:

        (a) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party's lawyer, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;

        There is a provision that relates to public statements made while serving on the bench. But campaign contributions, one just four years before, certainly create reasonable questions about impartiality, and judges should err on the side of avoiding  even the appearance of a conflict.

        •  Which is why Caperton v Massey went all the way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to SCOTUS. The results may be interesting, or the decision may be so narrowly tailored, as mentioned above of other SCOTUS decisions, that is only has impact here.

          At least Justice Benjamin got the message with the last Massey caseto come to the court and stepped aside. If you thought the TVA spill was bad, scroll down and take a look at the bigger picture at the link. What about the future of our children?

          Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices--François-Marie Arouet

          by CA Berkeley WV on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:35:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is a little different. . . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgcap, CA Berkeley WV

            Making a contribution to a party as opposed to receiving a donation from one. In this instance one of the contributions dates to 2004 and was sizable. There's a good case to be made that his having done so calls his impartiality into question.

            •  Non-lawyer here. Just in-law of many. (0+ / 0-)

              Calif. has a system of state judicial picks like the description of Minn. Appoint the re-affirm by election. They are partisan elections here in W. Va. Those are my two experiences of the system.

              I realize your point about the direction of the contribution, but to the larger question on the possible impact, or non-impact, of the upcoming Caperton v Massey decision. It is about steeping down from a case. There is as W. Va. parallel to the type of Canon you cited.

              Will this decision address how each state enforces it? SCOTUS recently brushed back a request from Massey to file an additional brief after oral arguments back in March. It was to state the statistics of Justice Benjamin's voting pattern.

              Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices--François-Marie Arouet

              by CA Berkeley WV on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:03:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  For the past few wks I've pretty much excoriated- (0+ / 0-)

     . . . the Minnesota Court system, election officials and, for that matter, the DFL for acting all, well, stoned and lacksidasical about this whole thing ("Uh, yeh, man.  We'll, uh, sort of get around to that when, uh, whad you just say, man?  Heh, heh.  Wha? . . .") about this whole thing.  

     I won't go through and link the 3-5 comments to this effect that I've written.  There's always about 3-5 people who say I "don't get it" (I've been a trial lawyer since 1991 -- although I hopped off the litigation train a couple of years ago -- by the way) and "these things take time" and all that excuse-making stuff, but, from the "Recs", I think more and more people see what I'm seeing about this.

     This would be comedic if it weren't for the seriousness of the thing.

     Thumb-twiddlers, indeed.  More like thumbs up their asses.


    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:33:47 AM PDT

    •  Be nice. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      underwhelm, Julie Gulden

      Haste makes waste.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:37:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The DFLers and Franken *have* "been nice". (0+ / 0-)

         The point is that the court and ECC have been slow and stoned-acting and the Dem/DFL/Liberals/Progressives/Franken Supporters have been all, "Uh, yeh, whatever" about it.  Bizarre and, I think, inexcusable.  There's nothing "mean" about insisting a court or election officials act with all expediency the law allows.  Prime example was that court order/ruling from a couple of weeks ago that allowed everyone (and the process) to slog along for an additional week.  The court COULD have Ordered that it all happen w/in 48-72 hours (by damn, if people have to lose sleep, or heaven forbid[!] work on a goddam Friday night or Saturday morning, then so effing be it), but, no, just meandering along . . .  just meandering along . . .


        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

        by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:49:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  complex litigation (6+ / 0-)

          I agree with you about the DFL. They've been pretty complacent about this. But I don't think the ECC has done anything wrong. They know that their actions are not merely judicial, but political. They could have railroaded Norm and reached the same, correct outcome that they will reach, but Norm and the GOP would have much more political leverage to litigate this until doomsday.

          Being seen as fair and deliberative by letting him present his case until exhaustion is of value to Minnesota. That much more political pressure can be brought to bear to have the GOP end this charade.

          •  I am familiar with "complex litigation". (0+ / 0-)

             I'm also familiar with Judges who know how to move a case (while balancing the rights of all litigants) and Judges who allow litigants to own the courtroom (a la Lance Itoh, but I've seen my own) and have no sense of urgency.  

             It's a false dichotomy to say either (a) the court has to be fair and abide by procedural laws, or (b) get their shit together and resolve this goddam thing.

             It's not an either/or thing . . . or, at least, doesn't have to be.  Uh, unless one's dealing with the MN court and elections system it seems.

             Whatever the hell they're smoking up there must be some powerful, knock-oneself-on-one's-ass stuff.


            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

            by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:15:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I've defended the "process" (7+ / 0-)

          (and still do) but I'm surprised at how long the ECC is taking to issue a ruling. If we get nothing this week, BG, I'll be joining you in yelling for action (not sure what good it'll do though....)

          One Nation, (still) Under Surveillance

          by rincewind on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:10:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And we won't (0+ / 0-)

            If this latest ruling is any indication of what the Court is up to, then we won't have a ruling till next week and maybe late in the week.

            The Court ruled Friday on the Nauen ballots that they have been reviewing for weeks.  And the ruling added only one tiny piece of new information - said Ms Saad's ballot would not count because her voter registration was incomplete.

            If they take a whole week to rule again on an issue they had already covered and make no new ruling and that involved about 36 ballots, how long will it take to rerule on 320 ballots counted last Tuesday?  Let's see, 300 is 9 times as many as 36 so....

            And this does NOT include time to rule on Dinkytown and Duplicates and lost and found ballots, etc.

            At this rate, they'll be at it till May.

            Does anyone know if they renewed their parking permits for April, May, June???

    •  Minnesota nice, midwestern values, partisanship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      underwhelm, rincewind

      Remembering that this process is highly politicized (perhaps as much or more since anything since 2000 and Bush v. Gore, when Gore was the bigger person), I think things are going as well as can be expected.

      We've got the NRSC raising a ton of money for the politicized recount effort, trying to find any possible legal challenge, and doing whatever they can to obstruct the process.  It's terrible PR for them, and the optics of it are not missed on Minnesotans or the country (or the world).

      The bigger issue right now is unemployment and the economy - the hardships being faced by Minnesotans are real and serious and severe, and Pawlenty's inaction is telling.  President Obama has done more for Minnesotans than Pawlenty has - and that doesn't bode well for the state Republican party.

      Franken will be seated, and when it happens, he'll do a great job.  As for Coleman, we ought to be doing a better job making the public aware of the Kazeminy scandal involving Norm's wife.

      Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

      by Benintn on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:44:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Minneapolis StarTribune yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    had some article about Norm taking this to Federal court and tieing up the seat for months.  I'd have to go back and see if it's just speculation/whim on their part or really something quoted from Norm recently.  it seemed like the later.  

  •  Looking at the long term we as progressives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would like the following outcome ...

       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.

    ... and so I hope the case continues and is argued through to that end but that Franken prevails even under full equal protection rulings.

    No quarter. No surrender.

    by hegemony57 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:55:02 AM PDT

  •  B v. G Redux (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rincewind, BlueStateRedhead

    My day, too, begins w/ the WineRev & coffee, but my meditations are on the workings behind the curtain.  As a white collar forensics guy, I have liked the nuance of evidence, especially from Franken.  His attorneys were trying the case and the appeal at the same time and my musings have the ECC writing their opinion with higher courts in mind.

    In my dreams, the ECC and the MN Supreme Court rise to the occasion and neuter the '00 SCOTUS opinion.  With all the evidence introduced in this case, the human side of the election process is revealed, and dressed up in its Easter best, too.  It is an endeavor rife with nuance.  If you are Coleman or Bush, you paint this darkly - difference is evil.  But the Franken team shined a light on the process and, hey, it's not satan at play, just the fact the people are also individuals.  Equal protection requires protection of the unequal.

    •  This once again shows how heroic Gore was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's frustrating that he didn't fight more, but the truth is that Florida was a tie and there will never be an objectively valid way to count the Florida votes.  There was a rumor that Bush won more votes in the end (after recounts) but the lack of paper trail, the problems of fraud, and the issues of vote suppression (long lines, etc.) were rampant.

      Al Gore understood that for the good of the country, he should step aside.  The saddest thing about it is that Bush had a chance to do something truly bipartisan (remember the "uniter, not a divider" thing?) and didn't.

      Gore's concession speech - the way that a statesman should act.

      Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

      by Benintn on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:48:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alan Page should give a talk to all pro athletes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freelunch, mmacdDE, vets74

    About what life can be like after a career as a pro.  Too many of the pros just drift aimlessly after their athletic careers are over.  He prepared for, and executed on a plan for life after his body wasn't able to keep him in the pros.

    I hated him as a Viking, but that's because I'm a Bears fan.  I understand that as a judge he's been quite good.

    I hads a 401K but the economy ated it.

    by nightsweat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:01:55 AM PDT

  •  Is there any way the Franken Team can press... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the issue here? It is obvious that Coleman is just dragging out the inevitable to keep Franken from voting on the budget, health care, etc.

    by Democratic Tribune on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:10:09 AM PDT

    •  No, no, no, no, no!!! That would be *mean*! -nt- (0+ / 0-)

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:51:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But to be fair (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        underwhelm, rincewind

        if Franken is going to represent MN, he needs to be 'nice' - because his constituents would want him to be, and because they are.

        MN has a reputation for being 'nice', and Norm and the GOP are shooting themselves in the foot, leg, and gut by NOT being 'nice'.

        The GOP are acting like whiny babies, and extremely sore losers. The DFL and Franken are acting like extremely fair, and compassionate ADULTS (see, you really DID lose, and it's OK to be upset about it, but honest, we WON).

        I agree, it should have gone a bit faster, but nobody can say they weren't given their day in court or that all the votes weren't counted.

        •  slight correction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          nobody can TRUTHFULLY say they weren't given their day in court or that all the votes weren't counted

          which won't stop the Puggies from saying it anyway....

          One Nation, (still) Under Surveillance

          by rincewind on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:02:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Patience is good. Passivity, not so much. (0+ / 0-)

           I can usually tell the difference.  MN Dems and Franken supporters, not so much.


          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:27:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Coleen Rowley >> Coleman (0+ / 0-)

    Different Coleman.... Nick Coleman.

    Friday, April 17, 2009, 7 pm

    Open Circle Church: 2400 Highland Drive , Burnsville

    For map and directions:  

    Everyone Welcome!  This is a Free Event.

    Contributions to support the work of mnpACT! always appreciated!

    Visit us at

    mnpACT! is a non-partisan, non-profit Registered Political Committee working for a more progressive government.

    Droogie is as Droogie does....

    by vets74 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:15:43 AM PDT

  •  WineRev, I adore you, but... (8+ / 0-)

    Not only would that be genetically impossible but they would never win/steal another election.... even in Alabama.

    In Alabama, we don't have electronic voting...we have "connect the arrow" ballots that are scanned and a receipt is printed. Our voting process is pretty open, much like is the case in Minnesota. The polling places in my area are fairly evenly distributed and the folks who work the polls don't seem to care what a voter's party affiliation is, what they seem to focus the most on is that the voter has his/her registration card, and ID and is on the list. If a voter's name is not on the list at a given precinct, one of the pollworkers will call the main office, find out which precinct has that voter on their roll and tell them where they need to go to vote, or offer them a provisional ballot. While our polling places were nowhere near prepared for the voter turnout in the last election, things went fairly smoothly. If anything, things were rougher on those in the "gated communities", because we recently made changes in the precincts, closing some of the polling places adjacent to the "gated communities" and moving them to areas that were more centrally located for all.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

    by LynneK on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:24:07 AM PDT

    •  Right now Minnesota has ZERO room to . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      . . . criticize any other state for election dumbassery.  Hell, I didn't catch that crack about Alabama.  Everything you say, Lynne.


      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:51:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I apologize. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It was a gratuitous slap against the Yellowhammers and uncalled for.

      I'm sorry.

      Its just some of the outcomes (see Sessions, see Shelby; now see Moore throwing his stone tablets into the ring) in Alabama and some of the awful stuff from the past still irk me.

      I should have used my home state of Ohio- 2004 as a better example.

      I'd be obliged if you'd forgive this rude Yankee.


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:33:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand... (0+ / 0-)

        Sessions and Shelby piss the hell out of me, but, on the bright side, Roy Moore doesn't have a snowball's chance in Bermuda of even winnin gthe Republican nomination, much less the election (he's already proven that 4 years ago.) The Alabama Democratic Party seems to be constitutionally incapable of fielding a viable candidate to run against the two "S"-holes, so I hold them partially responsible for the seeming permanence of Senators "Doofus 1 & Doofus 2."

        "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

        by LynneK on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:02:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  3-2 decision incoming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... you know it'll happen.

    I hope it comes out to 3-2 in Franken's favor.  It looks like the court has some corrupt GOP judges on the bench.  /sigh

  •  Coleman (0+ / 0-)

    Has Coleman filed yet to take the case to Mn Supreme Court?

    •  He doesn't have to until the decision is written (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      underwhelm, rincewind, Clem Yeobright

      and rendered.

      •  Strategy (0+ / 0-)

        Norman Goldman, the senior legal analyst on the Ed Schultz show, suggested that Norm may wait, deliberately, until the 59th or 60th day to file an appeal, because that will add an automatic 2-month delay to seating Al. The remedy would be for Al to IMMEDIATELY file an appeal after the final recount ruling, because he is, in fact, a victim who needs relief, ie., be seated. Also, this nugget: the MN Supreme court can either force Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign the certificate OR if he refuses (time to start the recall campaign in that case) rule that the certificate is in effect AS IF SIGNED! Nice! Game over. Al is seated and the US Supreme Court can decline to hear the case at their leisure.

  •  It's the recount that never ends... (0+ / 0-) goes on and on my friend. Some people just started losing, not knowing what a recount was, but they'll keep on complaining just because it's just the recount that never ends...

  •  Minnesota is reaching Louisiana status (0+ / 0-)

    Minnesota that stalwart icon of reason, propriety, fairness and prudence is finding its image being tarnished. Having once been the jewel of the midwest the State has veered off course.  Who knows when it began; maybe with the Jesse Ventura WWA smackdown governorship.  Maybe it began with electing the looney Bachman or the slimey Coleman or the mild mannered wingnutter, Pawlenty. Who knows?  But somewhere back there Minnesota began a political nose dive.  Now every time we're hearing about the Gopher State we're seeing nuttiness and confusion that makes Louisiana start to look sane in comparison.  I don't know what Minnesotans are thinking these days but if I were one of them I would be embarrassed and angry about what Coleman, Bachman and the RNC are doing to the image of the State and would demand that this issue be quickly resolved and that the State be allowed to move on.

    Man is not a rational animal. Man is a rationalization animal.

    by Pacific Blue on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:22:21 AM PDT

  •  three more news items (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    underwhelm, rincewind

    (if no one has posted them yet...)

    One of the MN Supreme Court judges made contributions to Coleman's campaign.  Should he recuse himself?

    USA Today editorial: "The further Coleman's case goes up the judicial ladder, the more strained its reasoning sounds."

    "State's high court may not be the last word in recount.  Norm Coleman could take his case to federal court, possibly leaving the state's second U.S. Senate seat empty for months more."

  •  I'm all ready to throw my !Senator Al Franken! (0+ / 0-)

    party- I guess I can wait another week.

    President Barack Obama!

    by kate mckinnon on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:23:40 AM PDT

  •  Are we there yet? (0+ / 0-)

    Bring back the Constitution of the United States.

    by libbie on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:31:24 AM PDT

  •  It's Winerevs fault (0+ / 0-)

    that this case refuses to end.  The ECC have been reading his diaries, and basking in the reflected glow of his burnished prose. He's their lifeline to immortality. They'll never let go.

  •  Let 'em eat fish (0+ / 0-)

    I've come to the conclusion that the ECC judge panel belongs to the Cover Your Ass party. While the lengthy trial can be blamed on obstructionism by Coleman's lawyers, I find it hard to come up with any reason for the length of time it is taking the panel to come to a conclusion now that the vote is finished -- except, of course, the CYA excuse. When the appeal happens, they want to appear blameless. They are going back and forth over every piece of evidence, unless they are out drinking instead, to make certain they have created no reasonable grounds for appeal.

    I wonder if it was the intention of the Minnisota legislature to allow election recounts to drag out this long?  I suspect it was not.  I recommend that all parties to this case, including judges, be required to eat nothing but lukefish (sic), without benefit of aquavit, until this case is concluded.  If this rule is instigated, it will guarentee no long, drawn out recounts in the future.

    •  nonsense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      The supreme court, when it decides whether to reverse a decision made by the ECC is not going to give a moment's consideration to the time elapsed between last tuesday and the time the final order for judgment is issued.

      They will give a great deal of thought, however, to the substance of the legal analysis provided by the panel. That is what is taking so long. It's completely legitimate and appropriate for the court to issue a thorough analysis of every legal issue presented in the case. That's not CYA, that's their job.

      Doing something less would be a reason for complaint. Doing their job too well? I don't think it warrants the lutefisk treatment. Send their share to the GOP, who plainly have earned it.

  •  Smackdown on At Issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    KSTP has the video, but they don't make it easy to find. You're looking for At Issue, Apr 12, "Party chairs debate senate seat." They were getting a little heated, but the sad thing is, you came away thinking both sides had plausible arguments, when in fact, the contest is over, there are no more uncounted ballots that can be legally counted, I don't care what county they came from or any crap about "equal protection."

  •  FRANKEN WINS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    count, Dragon5616

    The ECC's final ruling was just released.  Dismissed with prejudice.  Franken wins.

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