Franken wins by +312 votes.
At 3:30pm Monday Team Norm held a press conference announcing their appeal of the ECC decision to the MN Supreme Court.
Team Franken answered at 4:45pm
Front Pager SusanG was up with a diary before 6:00 here:
Volleys past the Orange fold.....
The Coleman Appeal (sounds like a rejected Aqua Velva TV ad)
The Countdown calendar is GONE because Norm Coleman (henceforward to be known as the "Appellant" in place of "ContestANT") filed his appeal with the MN Supreme Court (MNSC) Monday afternoon. And not just the Notice of Appeal, but an Appellants Statement of Case.
Here, top couple of items:http://www.mncourts.gov/...
The Statement is 7 pages, sort of a precis (!) or first sketch of what their case will look like. It is supposed to be rather limited but it sure seems to this non-lawyer to be dang limited. They fill in all the required notifications and briefly review the trial. Then on pages 4 & 5 they get to the heart of what they are asking:
The Election Contest Court erred:
- by excluding evidence local officials applied the statewide standards of law differently varying by locality, resulting in "illegal" votes being included in the certified total.
- by counting so many "illegal votes" that certifying Franken the winner was incorrect. This violates (they claim) equal protection and due process.
- by requiring a strict compliance standard for counting absentee ballots (in its Feb. 13 ruling; they REALLY don't like that ruling!) Since other ballots were counted under another, looser, standard this denies equal protection to all ballots.
- by not ordering inspections of precincts to investigate 'double counting'
- by allowing the 132 'missing ballots' Minneapolis precinct ballots to be counted
Everybody can play "Supreme Court Justice" on these! I'll start, OK? Starting from the bottom, #5-- not a chance. These are in and will stay in until John Cornyn grows more than 80 grams of functioning cerebral tissue (you know, not in this space-time continuum?).
#4-- not a chance. It is NOT up to the Court to order investigations that produce evidence for one of the parties in a case. You want something (like evidence) done, ya gotta do it yourself, Norm.
#3-- not a chance. You want a court of law to ignore/evade/wink at the law? That might work in Alabama, son, (Justice for Seigelman!) but it ain't going to work here, not for 20 cases of Surly beer or 2 ounces of lutefisk. No way.
#2 & #1-- the only hope on equal protection/due process grounds and the only part of the appeal worth hearing. Is there a statewide set of standards? Yes. Can human beings enforce these standards? Yes. Did they? Yes. Were civil rights violated for an identifiable GROUP of people? (Afro-Americans? Nope. Women? Nope. Native Americans? Nope. Residents of New Narvik, MN who are left-handed, Norwegian, Baptist, tee-totaling gopher kissers? Nope. Students in Dinkytown whose 132 ballots were lost by election officials but who actually showed up and signed in to vote, and the machine tapes show they did indeed vote?--- happened and addressed in #5.)
BTW, Colemanik lawyer types? If you win on #5, you disenfranchise 132 MN voters. They are denied equal protection and due process by YOUR acts. Your appeal against them is by (WineRev's) definition a denial of Constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment. You double-dealing, Janus-faced, two-bit, forked tongue, soul-less Ginsberg kissers! Knock it off!
I have no idea (although like you, I am about to get a world of education) how the MNSC works, but it sure seems to me they could look at #3, #4, & #5 "under advisement" for, oh, about a day, and then issue something denying them on the spot. (Don't know what it would be called, or even if they could lop off part of the appeal this way. But it sure would be efficient.)
MN attorney for Coleman James Langdon (the best of the Coleman bunch; a lawyer who deserves a better client IMHO) was quoted as saying he thought the MNSC would hear the case in 2 weeks to 2 months (and pointed out 6 months would normally be typical) but that he doubted it would be even 2 months.
"I'm sure they're very sensitive to the passage of time in this matter and will do it as soon as they think it is reasonable under the circumstances," Langdon said.
Ben Ginsberg blathered by remote from Europe (he's vacationing there; sorry, Europe!) and raved about the usual things on disenfranchisement of the 4400, equal protection, and satisfaction that finally this would get heard by a court that could really act.
Yeah, right. Comment of the day from the UpTake Live Blog from North Carolina
[Comment From Harry in NC]
Ginsberg is representing ME. I feel like a Minnesotan, and my ballot for Minn Senator was not counted. Of course I didn't cast one, nor was I entitled to, but damn it all, I wanted to vote in Minn.
The Franken Response
Marc Elias held a presser by phone from his home in VA about an hour & half after the filing. He was brief and pointed:
- The Franken team (Franken at this level is known as "Respondent", replacing "ContesTEE" in the ECC) will file a motion TODAY asking to expedite the case. (They are tired of waiting too; after all, they have a Ginsberg to crush! Ah-HA!)
- To keep things moving team Franken will ask for the Coleman briefs (not just the Statement of the Case) by Monday April 27 (I think that's forcing the tempo; not quite the Ohio State Marching Band entering to the drum corps hammering at 180 beats/minute, but judicially moving at "double quick step.")
- They join Team Coleman in asking for oral arguments, also in an expeditious way. (Coleman formally requested orals in their Statement. Its only a request; the Court does NOT need to grant and can go on just the written briefs. I myself think they want to hear it in the flesh.)
Elias was feisty and dismissive in turns: (MN Independent)
Four of five Coleman claims actually call for disenfranchising voters, Elias said: "When it comes to disenfranchisement, no one holds a candle to the legal team assembled by Sen. Coleman."
Al Franken’s attorney dismissed Norm Coleman’s appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court today as "same old, same old" and the "death throes" of the Coleman legal effort.
"It’s not easy," Marc Elias said of being on the short end of a disputed election. "But at some point you have to accept the reality."
"What we have now is the death throes of the Coleman legal effort," Elias said.
"Death throes," eh? Well Marc, next you'll be calling Norm's legal team a bunch of "dead enders" (which they are of course)..... but enough about Senate republicans! Lets move on to......
Supreme Court Questions
Subject to correction in the comments from our legal pros hanging around here, I think the sequence is:
- Notice of Appeal; Coleman (done, 4/20)
- Statement of Case; Coleman (done, 4/20)
- Motion to Expedite; Franken (coming, 4/21)
- Appellants Brief; Coleman (Franken requesting, 4/27)
- Respondents Brief; Franken, Elias states they could have this by May 2. (In their massively thorough way, I think when they do, Elias, Lillehaug & Hamilton's brief will cite a Peruvian Inca legislative from 718AD; and Egyptian case law: Cheops vs. Giza (-2533 BCE), recently found next to the map room in Tanis. (Also found: medallion with markings on BOTH sides ("Take BACK 12 kadem in honor of the Hebrew God whose ark this is"), broken staff, shredded swastika flag.)
The first 3 are set. Starting with 4 & 5 the Supreme Court will set a Briefing Schedule/Calendar. Both sides will do 4 & 5, and there may be a round (or even 2) of responses by each side (EG: "Appellant's Response to Respondent's Brief" or some such title; then "Respondent's Response to Appellant's Response") (Elias for Franken mentioned 4 & 5, and even said if Coleman has a response to 5--by May 2--- that they produce it by May 4.)
Sometime among the flying briefs (or maybe after?) the Court can order oral arguments. THAT will be MUST SEE TV (and if the UpTake can make budget they will have it, along with the best running live blog in the business) The High Court has been generous in allowing televising (of earlier arguments over various motions.) If there are oral arguments, 3 things:
1) Norm Coleman already mentioned last week Joe Friedberg would appear for him to do the honors. No word so far from the Franken side. Who do you like? Kevin Hamilton (who did a masterful job on closing arguments in ECC)? Marc Elias (best election law mind in the country)? David Lillehaug (perhaps the sharpest, think-on-your-feet mind we saw in the whole trial)?
2) When the Supreme Court has heard earlier arguments in this election they ordered 1 hour of arguments total. Each side's attorney faced a 30 minute grilling from the 5 judges over certain rather narrow motions. Do the appeal lawyers have a sense if the Court might order longer oral arguments, just because it IS the Appeal, and because they KNOW this case will be studied and cited for a long time? Could they order, say, 1 hour/ side? Or "Appellant, 2 hours in the morning' Respondent, 2 hours in the afternoon"?
3) Is that the order they would bat: appellant, then respondent? (Is there rebuttal at all?) And if this IS the order, is there a slight advantage for the respondent's side? They would get to hear Friedberg and could shape some of their argument on the spot as reply, yes/no? Or are the questions from the Court likely to be rather different to each side so there is not a lot of overlap?
Not Them Again: The Wall Street Journal/Yurinal--as said in MN.
While we were waiting for an appeal or a concession ("Norm? 2 hot dogs with mustard please!") the Wall Street Journal decided to show us the mentality that has led America to our current economic
disaster prosperity in a dunderheaded article here:
As a sample of the brain power that strains at 98% capacity to grind upper & lower jaws in a chewing motion we have:
"....there have been plenty of irregularities. By the end of the recount, the state was awash with evidence of duplicate ballot counting, newly discovered ballots, missing ballots, illegal voting, and wildly diverse standards as to which votes were counted."
Neither the state nor the Election Contest Court that was specially appointed to hear the case heard evidence of duplicate ballot counting--- only speculation from Norm's legal team (and Pamela Howell)/ newly discovered ballots---- utter fantasy beyond the drug-assisted ravings of Ben Ginsberg/ missing ballots--- that were heard about and ruled upon/ illegal voting--- which Ben Ginsberg is ADVOCATING!/ wildly diverse standards as to which votes were counted--- diverse here means ballots that conformed to the LAW and those that DO NOT.
Having gotten crushed by the conscious media the last time they offered anything on this Recount (including getting pounded in print by a judge and member of the State Canvassing Board, and by the webmaster of the right-wing Powerline website) you'd think the Wall Street Journal would have learned something. If they did it expired like an over-ripe kumquat with this piece. On the stupid scale it hangs somewhere between the charm of Dick Cheney, the compassion of Donald Rumsfeld, and the vacantly blinking, slack-jawed 77 IQ-ness of the W. Ptui!
The WineRev Project: A Little Help, Please
Work continues on creating a book out of these diaries. Last week we asked for your input for title suggestions. Along with others that have trickled in over the past month there are dozens to pick from.
In the "Poll" below I'm asking for your input in a Market Survey sort of way. But your comments will likely be more important. Which title do you like and why? Which would sell the best with the public at large? Is there a better sub-title? Should Main Title D actually be paired with Subtitle G, you know, mix & match? Its harder than it looks because there's a lot to be said for each of them. (A late friend of mine once defined real leadership as "the ability to choose between 2 GOOD things.")
You can see I/we (the Amazonic editors I have on this project; ooohhh they are good women; someday I might even meet them in person) were shooting for a few targets: the recount/election/democracy process, the blogging/internet/online take on this, and a bit of whimsy/humor/snarky-ness. Trying to get all that into one title may be too much but we're trying. That also explains why some suggestions are not here. They were funny as hell ("A Yugo Full of Lutefisk"), a bit dry ("Democracy in Action"), perhaps overly derivative ("Wobegone No more and Way Above Average"/ "Elections and the Winning Winners who Win them").
So tell us: how did we do? Marketeers to the fore! What will drive sales? Appeal to the larger audience? Stay fresh?
(Years ago someone wrote in to Ann Landers asking, "What's the difference between sales and marketing?" Ann consulted with her consultants and wrote back, "On a November dawn, a guy stands on the shoulder of an on-ramp to a freeway. Backpack. Thumb out. Hand lettered cardboard sign that says, "Dallas."--That's sales. "Same November dawn, same ramp, same backpack, same thumb. Handmade cardboard sign says, "Home for Thanksgiving with Mom."-- That's marketing.)
Tuesday Morning Minnesota Media
Of course the Appeal being filed is the BIG story.
Jay Weiner at Minn Post:http://www.minnpost.com/...
The Pioneer Press has a decent write-up of the situation and includes a quote from the US Senate:
"It is 167 days since the election," said Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, in a statement released after the appeal was filed. "(I)t is time for Republicans to stop holding this seat hostage as a way to obstruct President Obama's agenda. We should all let Senator-elect Franken get to work for the people who elected him."
"Held hostage", eh? You know, between "death throes" and "held hostage", these Democratic types are at least showing they're getting the rhetoric down. (They can borrow my "Janus-faced Ginsberg kisser" if they want to.)
Joe Bodell at Mn Progressive has a KILLER quote from Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg in this brief bit here. When you have no soul, utter contradiction is easy:
Have the late shift at the shop today, so I'll have a 2nd cup with all of you. Thats the latest from yust southeast of Lake Wobegon.