February 16th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Coleman to judges: Reconsider your ruling

 Coleman attorneys want Minnesota judges to reconsider a recent ruling.

Coleman attorneys want Minnesota judges to reconsider a recent ruling.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Republican Norm Coleman's attorneys Monday sent a letter to the three judges overseeing the election trial asking them to reconsider their game-changing ruling from Friday that put significant limits on the types of rejected absentee ballots they want examined.

The judges on Friday outlined about a dozen categories of ballots that should not be counted because they said those categories of ballots were not legally cast under Minnesota law. Those included ballots in which signatures didn't match, those submitted by non-registered voters or those inside a return envelope not signed by the voter.

But Coleman, who is seeking to add more rejected ballots to the recount of his November 4 race with Democrat Al Franken for a U.S. Senate seat, argued that not including all of about 4,800 ballots he wants re-examined was a matter of equal protection.

In their letter sent to the court Monday, Coleman's team is arguing that "likely thousands" of the ballots that had been sifted through during the recount process could have fallen under these now-taboo categories.

"Without a remedy, we will be faced with a widespread equal protection problem that would not only violate the law, but create Constitutional legal issues that would only delay this process further," Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg said.

The court also ruled that absentee ballots dropped off on election day and absentee ballot applications that were not signed would not be reconsidered.

After these new guidelines defining legitimate ballots, Coleman's attorneys estimated that around 3,300 ballots might be eligible for re-examination.

There is no word on when the court could issue another order on this, if they decide to at all.

The state's hand recount completed in early January and gave Democrat Al Franken a lead of 225 votes. The trial moved into its fourth week of proceedings on Monday.

Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Truth Bomb Thrower

    I'm rooting for Coleman, but the fact of the matter is he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell. Think about it. How many Republican judges do you think there are–espeically in the state of Minnesota? Like these stuffy old black robes are going to do something to actually help a Republican running against a Democrat. Minnesota and the rest of the country is most likely stuck with this Franken clown.

    February 16, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Aviate

    "The Bush team argued for a full state recount."

    Umm, no. They wanted no recount, which is why they kept going to court. And in different jurisdictions, they argued for different standards for counting ballots based on whether the area was favorable to them or not (leniency in pro-GOP areas, strict enforcement of rules in Dem areas). I know Republicans like to rewrite history, but at least stay in the general vicinity of the facts, please.

    Now Norm, after saying he would have conceded if he were in Franken's place the day after the election, then arguing to keep the wrongly disqualified ballots from being counted, then trying to keep it to only a few, now wants ALL ballots counted, even those cast in clear violation of the law. Shockingly, all those on the right who hyperventilate about vote fraud (and that's what forging someone's signature on a ballot is) are silent...

    If this were a tennis match, Norm would be saying "best of 3, no, I mean best of 5, no I mean best of 7, no I mean best of 9, er best of 11, er, until I win..."

    And yet he & the GOPers here are shocked and outraged that the judges won't keep moving the goalposts in his direction. Guess they got spoiled under the Bush regime. Fortunately for the rest of us, Minnesotans are a sensible, law-abiding bunch. And soon Al Franken will be representing them in the US Senate, in accordance with their wishes.

    February 16, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Mr. Coleman really needs to give up this fight and get a life! How long has he been whining about this and acting really childish? Give the country a break, Mr. Coleman. We have more important things to occupy our thoughts than your misguided job search!

    February 16, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. GOP = Geriatric Obstructionist Pityparty

    Just like a repub, they all think the law only applies to the little guys, not them.

    February 16, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. Gerry, Eugene, OR

    Republican Norm Coleman=Looser

    February 16, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. 2010

    reconsider = above the rule of law

    Coleman lost, and MN deserves their second US Senate seat filled by now.

    February 16, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. George Ennis, Toronto, Canada

    I actually admire the thoroughness of the legal process that is being followed in Minnesota. It is clear that the judges are trying to rigorously ensure all eligible ballots are counted. Where the law is clear on the process of what constitutes an eligible battle the courts have followed the statutes. Obviously there are still areas of the electoral law which do not cover all the irregularities that have emerged in this process so the judges are required to exercise some discretion as to what the statute means.

    Whoever wins the Senate seat; the people of Minnesota can be proud that the process has been fair and transparent. I am not sure what more you could ask for under existing laws. Could there be improvements made? Of course; but that is not for the judges to decide.

    February 16, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. EJ in metro Houston

    didn't the GOP whine when Gore did the same thing back in 2000? At least Gore finally gave it and gave in. (but look what happened the past eight years!!)

    I still say put these guys in a room and let them duke it out....whoever walks out wins! Settle it like MEN!!! ROFLMA!

    February 16, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    he can always stand in for the shamwow man.

    February 16, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    h can stand in for th SHAMWOW man.

    February 16, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Bone

    well, how about that !

    February 16, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Baton

    Good deal !

    February 16, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. Fred the moderate

    What's he gonna do next? Put a gun to their heads and tell them how to rule.

    We saw that Here in Florida

    February 16, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  14. fearful for my country

    I hate to say it Norm but the democratic cards are stacked against you. The elections in this country are bought and paid for and unfortunately it seems as though the dems have all the currency at the moment. Welcome to the New World Order.

    February 16, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  15. Southern Democrat

    I find it very odd. He claims victory way too early and tells Franken to give up and now that it's been proven that he lost the election, it's not fair. Coleman is just another sore loser in the long line of Republicans who lost this past year. Norm, the people of your fine state deserve better than this. Be gracious, bow out of the race and bend to the will of the people. If you don't, you'll be a two time loser, as you'll lose this election and won't stand a chance if you decide to run for office again.

    For the sake of the country END IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 16, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Patriot

    HAHA – we keep counting till we win... in FL there was no way to get Gore's number over no matter what – so we unfortunately lost there, but we got WA governor and we got MN Senate!

    February 16, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Awando

    Coleman, there are more important issues facing your state right now, please go away with your head up, do not bring shame

    February 16, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. GuyInVA

    It's time to pack it in Senator Coleman. Everyone knows what happened here, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. You should have seen the writing on the wall when you lost over 500 votes between election day and the START of the recount. Over 500 votes before the recount even started. You were done from the start Senator Coleman.

    February 16, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Rodger Willis

    Come on, I smell a BUSH!

    February 16, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. gaffer

    hard luck COLEMAN.....Karma for the 2000 election.....what goes around comes around........mmmmmmmmmmmm let me see when you lose and it doesnt seem fair ...you still cry even when the judges dont take your side.....booo hooo......dont have a kathleen Haris in MN or even a biased supreme court....HARD LUCK


    February 16, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  21. eric

    ummm truth bomb thrower – actually the 3 judge panel consists of 1 judge appointed by a Democratic governor, one by a Republican governor and one by an Independent governor. And to tell the truth the process here has been remarkably transparent and for those who have closely followed the proceedings has been generally considered to be non-partisan in the deliberations. Of course there are party activists on either side who will disagree, but it seems that following the Minnesota election laws and guidelines has been paramount in the recount and the court contest.

    February 16, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. Pel

    Mr Coleman you elected to become a republican and it was a success for you for a few years. The good people of MN has now denounced you. Why want you accept that?

    Being a cry baby want do you any good at this juncture. Go home ! Go home! Go home!.

    February 16, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. MBFLA

    If I lived In Minnesota, I wonder if I would have to pay taxes. After all, isn't there something about no taxation without representation? At the rate this is going, the people will never get their second Senator in office!

    February 16, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. jaye

    Coleman is just another GOP loser trying to get attention.

    February 16, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  25. Coleman---you're a loser.....

    Drop out now and save yourself even more humiliation.

    February 16, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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