April 14th, 2009
01:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Coleman lawyer pledges appeal - in time

An attorney for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, pictured above, said they still plan to appeal to the state's high court.
An attorney for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, pictured above, said they still plan to appeal to the state's high court.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – A day after a much-awaited trial court ruling named Democrat Al Franken the winner of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, an attorney for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman said they still plan to appeal to the state's high court.

Coleman lawyer Ben Ginsberg emphasized the need for a full review of the ruling over the need for a speedy appeals process. "I would be surprised if it's before next week," he said. "I mean, we're reviewing the 65-page opinion, and I think we'll take time to be sure we review and frame the issues correctly before we file the notice."

The Coleman camp's arguments were shot down from just about every angle in the lower court's decision. But Ginsberg said he has confidence the Minnesota Supreme Court will see their case differently, and focus more on the equal protection argument Coleman had been pursuing all along.

He added that, based on what he's seen in the state Supreme Court's historical rulings, the high court justices will be more conscious of the "rights of voters."

A central theme of their case has been the issue of what they say are mistakenly rejected absentee ballots. Coleman at the onset had asked the trial court to examine more than 4,000 of these ballots. Much to Coleman's chagrin, that number was heavily whittled down. About 350 were opened and counted in the end.

Ginsberg says they'll go back to those 4,000 in the appeal.

"The point is that there are still thousands of voters who have not had their votes counted whose votes should be counted," he said.

Ginsberg also noted they have the direct right to an immediate appeal, so there is no chance the court could refuse to hear the case.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has already begun fundraising based on the court's decision, sending supporters a message that raises the 2000 Florida recount and accuses Democrats of looking to disenfranchise Minnesota voters. "Republicans, and the NRSC in particular, remain committed to a full and fair resolution of this election contest and stand firmly behind Senator Norm Coleman," said chairman John Cornyn in an e-mail sent to supporters.

Franken's campaign has announced a conference call later in the day Tuesday.

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