MN Supreme Court Reaches Decision

The Supreme Court has ruled:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1. The petition of Norm Coleman for relief from the December 19, 2008 decision of the State Canvassing Board rejecting challenges to unmatched original damaged ballots be, and the same is, denied. But our denial of the relief requested does not constitute a binding determination in a subsequent election contest proceeding.

2. Petitioner's motion for a temporary restraining order be, and the same is, denied as moot.

Dated: December 24, 2008

BY THE COURT

Alan C. Page

Associate Justice

MAGNUSON, C.J., and ANDERSON, G. Barry J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this matter.

Source: MNCourts.gov

This appears to be good news for the Franken campaign, but they are likely to remain apprehensive over the following line from the ruling:

But our denial of the relief requested does not constitute a binding determination in a subsequent election contest proceeding.

Source: MNCourts.gov

Unless I am mistaken, which I very well could be (I'm not a legal expert) why couldn't the Coleman campaign just take their petition to an "election contest proceeding?" This ruling appears to be good news for Franken, but I'm not certain the issue is actually resolved.

From a legal standpoint Coleman is helpless, at least until a winner is certified; as an "election contest" implies contesting the result of an election after a winner has been certified. The State Canvassing Board could require that each county double check their count to try and preempt any such election contest, but even then an election contest seems likely.

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