Eric Black of MinnPost Dot Com has made an interesting observation. Last week the three judge panel charged with hearing Norm Coleman’s “Election Contest” (that’s a thing … an election contest is a kind of suit claiming that an election did not go properly) finished their job. They ruled against some of Coleman’s claims, but they did count extra ballots as Colman had insisted. That addition of new ballots — all absentee ballots — resulted in Franken’s lead growing.

From that ruling, the plaintiff has ten days to file an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The appeal itself is a simple form. This is the sort of thing that would be ready in advance to hand over to the court right after the final ruling of the case being finished.

But, Norm Coleman has not yet filed the appeal.

There are several possible reasons for this unusual behavior, including:

  1. Norm is thinking about it. He may actually decide to not file the appeal.
  2. Norm forgot to file the appeal. Maybe somebody should tell him.
  3. Norm and his Republican cronies know they cannot win this case, but they are not actually trying to win this case. Rather, their intention is to drag this process out as long as possible in order to deprive the Democratic Party of having Al Franken working with them in Washington.

Erick Black’s idea is that we aresseing the last of these choices being played out. In An explanation for why Coleman hasn’t filed notice of appeal he writes:

In the end, the difference between a Coleman notice on Day One versus Day Ten is, well, nine days. Not so much in the context of this case. I am resisting the widespread Dem spin that every additional day the seat remains open is a scandal or a tragedy. But whatever extra days are wasted on an unnecessary step will very likely simply be added to the time consumed by this next phase. This delay undermines any claim Coleman might that he is not stalling.

As if any effort were really needed to undermine any possibility that Norm Coleman would ever do the right thing in relation to anything. Ever.

Minnesotans are such morons even letting Coleman be a politician here.

Comments

  1. #1 Phillip IV
    April 18, 2009

    Or perhaps Coleman is just waiting to hear back from his pollsters before deciding – while the GOP leadership would certainly be happy to keep Franken out of Congress as long as possible no matter the cost, Coleman is likely thinking more along the lines of “as long as possible without irretrievably ruining my reputation”. And if he finds he hasn’t much wriggling room left, in that regard, there might be just the slightest chance he won’t appeal after all.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 18, 2009

    Phillip: Yea, but … Clearly, no matter what the outcome of this race, having a Senator seated so we are represented should happen as soon as possible. Any delay is bad.

    A recount and the appeals delay the seating of a Senator, but are necessary and appropriate so we live with the delay… But…

    Can you imagine what would happen if the three judge panel said “Oh, we’ve made our final decisons, but one of us had a vacation planed, so we’ll be presenting our opinions and conclusions in a week or so” …

    Well what is happening right now is that Coleman is systematically adding ten days to the number of days this whole process will take. And now, we’re all talking about it. If he files for the appeal on day ten, it will be abundantly clear that his goal is to deprive the citizens of Minnesota of reresentation, or more exactly, he’s telling us thta it’s either him or on one, for as long as possible.

    His career is over. Clearly, he’s made a deal with the RNC. He’s getting some bills paid somehow, and that is all that counts for him. So much for Democracy and all that other silly stuff our founding fathers gave their lives for.

  3. #3 T. Hunt
    April 18, 2009

    Is there something that the people of Minnesota can do? I understand that there is a recount process and that it has to play out but there also should be an end point where the people of Minnesota get their representation. (Gee, no one mentioned that at any of the Tea Parties, did they?) Even if it’s seating the former senator. Or provisionally seating the newly elected one.

    I can see problems with either one of those courses but the people in Minnesota are now truly without representation and they ARE being taxed. It would seem the governor is in a position to take up the people’s cause but that hasn’t yielded anything of substance yet.

    If I lived in Minnesota, I’d be tea baggin’ someone.

    T. Hunt

  4. #4 BruceH
    April 18, 2009

    Coleman is clearly stalling. I think your analysis is exactly correct. The man is washed up on the national political stage, and he knows it. The Republican leadership knows it. They are simply running the play right out of their play book. Namely, obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Since they cannot govern, and now they cannot win, they have nothing left to do.

    Well, aside from swallow their collective pride and actually make some compromises in the interest of the nation as a whole, but we all know how they feel about that idea. They would rather be the obstructionist party so that when elections come around, they can claim that they fought against every bad thing that might happen between now and then. Not hard to do when you are the party of “We’s agin it!” If that can’t be done, they’ll spin the good stuff into bad, and run against that.

  5. #5 BruceH
    April 18, 2009

    One does wonder what Coleman himself stands to gain from all this. Obviously, he’s not doing it out of any sense of altruism, or even loyalty to the Republican party.

  6. #6 Minnesota Central
    April 19, 2009

    Maybe Coleman is learning from his mistakes ?

    For those that have not followed the Election Contest trial, Coleman started off unprepared. In fact, his first schedule had the trial not starting until mid-February and the ECC (Election Contest Court) denied his request. The first day of testimony was a complete rejection of Coleman’s evidence as it included “partial” photo-copies with missing key data. From there, it continued to go downhill.

    Coleman’s attorneys knows the clock starts to run once they file the notice of appeal … briefs have to be filled in a prescribed timeline and then Franken’s team gets time for a response.
    Also, even though they have the desire to appeal, they need to format the appeal based on the ECC ruling, so there is a little homework that needs to be done.

    All that said, the only question that Coleman should be asking is “Will a successful appeal alter the election results?” Thus far, Franken’s lead keeps growing and even if Coleman does prove that significant errors were made, will the outcome change … my answer is no. In fact, the ECC was harder on Franken in the review than Coleman (Coleman attorneys had agreed that more Franken votes should be considered than the ECC allowed.) Franken’s attorneys should have pressed harder … essentially running up the score so that the lead would have been greater.

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