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Franken Declared Winner of Disputed Senate Seat

Minnesota’s Supreme Court unanimously denied Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s appeal yesterday, ruling that Democrat Al Franken is the winner of November’s Senate race. This ruling (see PDF) upholds the decision of lower courts in Minnesota, and states that Franken officially won the race by 312 votes – 0.011%.

On John King’s “State of the Union” this past Sunday, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that he would respect the decision of the court, and stated that any other reaction would constitute a “dereliction of [his] duty” as governor, according to Politico.

Franken’s victory not only reinstates Minnesota’s full representation in the Senate, but gives the Democrats and the Independents who caucus with them a 60-seat majority in the Senate. This majority gives Democrats the ability to block any Republican attempts at filibustering.

Coleman gave a concession speech yesterday and stated that “ours is a government of laws, not men and women. The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result. It’s time for Minnesota to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States Senator – Al Franken,” according to the New York Times. Coleman’s term expired almost 6 months ago and the seat has remained vacant since.

Sources:

Minnesota Supreme Court 6/30/09; Politico 6/28/09; New York Times 6/30/09

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