February 18th, 2009
06:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Coleman questions 'reliability' of election trial

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Perhaps laying the groundwork for an appeal to a higher court, Republican Norm Coleman’s attorneys are beginning to publicly question the three-judge panel presiding over his post-election legal battle, saying Wednesday that the judges are creating a "real problem” by not reconsidering their ruling from Friday that put a damper on much of Coleman’s case over rejected absentee ballots.

“The court creates a real problem for itself and the reliability of these proceedings,” said Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg, adding that it could create a “legal quagmire that makes ascertaining a final, legitimate result to this election even more difficult.”

Coleman’s attorneys maintain the judges’ Friday order that threw out certain rejected absentee ballots and ruled them unlawfully cast due to certain errors fails to account for “thousands” of absentee ballots that could have been accepted while still containing the same errors.

According to Ginsberg, “illegally cast ballots under their definition are included in the counts.”

The types of ballots ruled taboo by the judges include categories of absentee ballots submitted by non-registered voters, absentee ballots inside a return envelope not signed by the voter or absentee ballot applications that were not signed, and absentee ballots that were dropped off in person on election day.

Ginsberg said that about 100 ballots allowed in to the count during the recount process would have fallen under the new outlawed categories.

The Coleman campaign’s press release does not say whether or not they are currently pursuing other legal avenues or setting up an appeal.

Asked if that were the case, Coleman spokesman Mark Drake said only, "We're concentrating on the 3-judge panel and hoping they cure the defect they've created.”

A spokeswoman for Democrat Al Franken Jess McIntosh said Coleman's lawyers are "denegrating" Minnesota's election process "in order to set up their appeal."

Franken held a slight lead of 225 votes after the recount was completed. The trial is now in its fourth week of testimony with no apparent timetable for a speedy conclusion.


Filed under: Minnesota • Minnesota Senate recount
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. American

    Coleman ... you lost and you should take it like a man.

    ARE U TRYING TO OVERTURN PEOPLE's WILL BY LEGAL MEANS?

    Just read our lips: WE DONT WANT YOU!!!

    February 18, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Charles from Atlanta

    Lawyers are always amazing. But I think Colman has run out of options.

    February 18, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. dave

    You lost stop wasting the taxpayer money.

    February 18, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. scdemocrat

    Typical Republican, if they don't get their way they whine and run to the courts they seem to think are so evil the rest of the time. YOU LOST NORM go away, you are depriving the people of Minnesota proper representation in the Senate.

    February 18, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. Gerry In Toronto

    This guy Coleman must be taking lessons from Rush Limbo. This is not how to win friends and influence people. He should get lost and fight another day.

    February 18, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Proud American

    I'm sure if Coleman searched hard enough he could find a airport restroom to hang out in. Go away Idiot you lost.

    February 18, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. Patriot Guy

    Norm, I'd love to see you win, but the fact of the matter is there's too many activist judges pulling for the DNC. Now that it is in the hands of the court, I'm afraid you don't have a chance.

    February 18, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Nancy - Kansas

    I find it very interesting that he questioned Mr. Franken's right to even ask for a recount originally but now that he is not the winner, he chooses to yell "Unfair." What a whinner!

    February 18, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Proud American

    And I question Coleman's mother decision to give birth to the Idiot. Good Lord, you lost move on.

    February 18, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Charlie in Maine

    We've got work to do. Swear Al Franken in and let the other guy try to get the nomination next time.

    February 18, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. ray

    coleman, why dont you go put a rope around your neck loser? the state will be a better place if all republicans can do that.

    February 18, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Please, will Coleman ever accept defeat?

    It is becoming very clear that this Republican will only
    be happy if the votes turn out in his favour!

    I guess he is like many other Republicans, something
    is only right and okay if...... IT IS THE REPUBLICANS WAY
    otherwise IT IS NO WAY!

    This issue is becoming very much like the STIMULUS
    ISSUE.........DO IT OUR WAY OR ELSE!

    When is this fiasco going to be over?

    February 18, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    This thing with Coleman is getting to be a regular TV Soap. Question is who will get the most TV shares. Will it be the Boago/Burris Comedy show or will it be the Trials and Tribulations of Norm Soap Opera?

    I can't believe these children are acting like children while our country is going down the tube. I pray we don;t have others already in Congress like these guys but I fear it is to late.

    February 18, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. Dustin

    I wish that Coleman would just accept the fact that he lost and get over it for crying out loud. He shows just how difficult republicans are and he isn't helping himself or his party by his actions in the race.

    February 18, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Maggie

    Franken IS A CLOSE TO A CROOK AS A CROOK IS CLOSE TO A CROOK. jUST LISTEN TO ALL HIS LIES. HE IS FROM ILL, RIGHT?

    February 18, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. John in KY

    GIVE IT UP WHINER!

    February 18, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. dale in indiana

    I THINK COLEMAN OUGHT TO DO THE PEOPLE OF THE GREAT STATE OF MINNESOTA A BIG FAVOR AND CONCEDE. ALL HE IS DOING IS KEEPING THE PEOPLE OF THAT STATE ONE LESS VOICE IN D.C. MAYBE THE PEOPLE SHOULD VOTE THE REST OF HIS PARTY IN THAT STATE OUT THE NEXT TIME AROUND FOR SUPPORTING THIS LOST CAUSE......AND CREATING THIS HUGE FIASCO. HE LOST THE RECOUNT....

    February 18, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. curtis in WI

    Translation: Okay. I admit it. I lost, but that doesn't mean I have to be a good sport about it.

    February 18, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Jason

    The recount was LEGAL...Coleman lost and needs to give this up. He's just making himself look pathetic.

    February 18, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. reggie

    Keep fighting Coleman. You will prevail in the end. Franken is a joke and did not earn the votes he claims.

    February 18, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  21. Lori

    I DON'T WANT ANOTHER REPUBLICAN STEALING AN ELECTION!!! Get lost Coleman!!! Hurry up and send Franken to Washington to stop these Republicans who enjoy spending our American tax dollars in Iraq and for the Iraqis but oppose our own money being spent on us hard-working Americans to help out our fellow Americans!!! Republicans are unpatriotic!!!

    February 18, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. JJohn Anthony, MN

    Shut up and concede, Coleman. Your bellyaching worse than a spoiled little boy in a temper tantrum. GIVE IT UP, PAL!

    February 18, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. vanessa

    Enough, already. Minnesota needs a second senator...make a decision...Mr. Coleman is making this torture for all of us.

    February 18, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. Alfred E. Neumann

    Any moment I expect one of the judges to jump up and say, "Live from Minnesota, it's Saturday Night Live"!

    You betcha!

    February 18, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |