MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - A Minnesota state representative has introduced a bill that - if passed - would result in the seating of Democrat Al Franken as Minnesota's junior senator, at least temporarily.
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a Democrat, introduced a bill in the Minnesota legislature Monday that would provisionally seat the winner of the statewide recount in instances where a post-election lawsuit is imminent.
If passed, it would take effect immediately, allowing Franken would be seated in the interim period while the legal battle brought by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman plays out in court.
Earlier: MN court issues ruling on rejected absentee ballots
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - The courtroom battle over Minnesota’s Senate race wraps up its first week Friday, beginning the day with the testimony of Ramsey County elections manager and former state elections director Joseph Mansky.
The first week has primarily been centered around presenting background information and details of the election process to the three-judge panel, and Mansky's testimony is no different.
Earlier in the week, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann - a central figure in the both the election and the recount process - testified for about a day and a half on procedures and details, from the training of local election judges to the level of back-and-forth on a myriad of issues between each campaign during the recount.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Minnesota voters who say their absentee ballots were rejected for no good reason took the witness stand Tuesday in the second day of the trial requested by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who once again was on hand for the proceedings.
Coleman is contesting Minnesota's Senate recount results, which put Democrat Al Franken ahead.
It was an abbreviated day of testimony - the three-judge panel spent all morning in a private meeting with each side's lawyers to iron out details for how the case would proceed. Still, Coleman attorneys called seven witnesses to testify, six of whom they say are voters whose ballots were rejected in error.
Their seventh and final witness of the day was Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, played a key role during the recount process, particularly on the issue of rejected absentee ballots - the focal point of Team Coleman's arguments so far. They say approximately 4,500 ballots that weren't counted were valid, and should be back in play.
The six voters who took the stand range from a man who said, according to a letter from the state, that his ballot was rendered moot due to a mispelling in his name to yet another man whose ballot may have been rejected because his girlfriend signed his signature on his ballot application while he signed the actual ballot, meaning the two signatures did not match.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman made a surprise appearance in court Monday as his lawyers began arguing that he should get his old job back.
"Obviously we are at a critical moment right now in this whole election process and it's because it is important to me and important to the people of Minnesota that I wanted to be here, and I wanted to observe," said Coleman, who is challenging the results of November's Senate contest. "I'm not sure how long this process will go, and I'm not sure how exciting its going to be."
Coleman is asking a three-judge panel to overturn the results of the Minnesota Senate recount, which put Democrat Al Franken in the lead with 225 votes. His attorneys began presenting their case Monday in a trial that could last months.
But the judges forced Coleman's team to detour significantly from the way it had wanted to present the first stage of its contest, barring them from using annotated copies of absentee ballots his lawyers argue were improperly excluded from the recount.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – As former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's lawsuit contesting the results of a hand recount in Minnesota begins today, his lawyers are predicting a 'very, very tedious proceeding."
The three-judge panel overseeing the suit will convene at 1 pm CT Monday. Coleman is contesting results that gave Democrat Al Franken the edge with 225 votes out of approximately three million ballots.
On a conference call Sunday, Coleman lawyer Joe Friedberg said he expects a "very, very tedious" proceeding. Friedberg, a prominent Minnesota lawyer, will present opening arguments in the case.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - The three-judge panel charged with overseeing the trial brought forth by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has denied Democrat Al Franken's request to dismiss that trial.
The trial is set to begin Monday and will now proceed as scheduled. Lawyers from both campaigns will be present at a pre-trial hearing and summary judgment Friday, which will set the groundwork for the trial period.
(CNN) - Al Franken spokesman Andy Barr confirmed Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has provided the Democratic Senate hopeful with tickets to the swearing-in ceremony today. Barr added Franken is "in the bleachers on the Mall."
Franken and former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman are still locked in a bitter fight for the U.S. Senate seat from the state of Minnesota.
A Coleman spokesman said the Republican will be at home in the Twin Cities.
MINNEAPOLIS (CNN) – The three-judge panel set to preside over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's post-election legal challenge has set January 26 as the start date for the trial, the court announced Friday.
The judges also set January 21 as the date they will hear arguments on Democrat Al Franken's motion to dismiss the legal contest.
Franken came out of the recount 225 votes ahead of Coleman, but Team Coleman maintains hundreds of voters were disenfranchised, and claims many votes may have been counted twice.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Democrat Al Franken asked the state's Supreme Court Tuesday to order Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democrat Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign the certificate of election that would validate the 225-vote lead he holds over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
Pawlenty and Ritchie had each denied the request, saying Minnesota law prohibits them from signing off on the state canvassing board's final count until all election legal contests have been exhausted.
Coleman has filed suit over the canvassing board's count. No start date has been set for that trial.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Mark Ritchie, Minnesota’s Democratic secretary of state, said Monday he would not sign off on any document certifying Al Franken as the winner of the state’s closely-contested Senate race until all lawsuits related to the recount had been resolved.
"Minnesota law is very clear on when a certificate of election can be issued,” he wrote in a Monday statement. “Neither the governor nor I may sign a certificate of election in the U.S. Senate race until all election contests have reached a final determination. Even if the governor issues a certificate of election prior to the conclusion of the contest phase, I will not sign it."
Attorneys with Al Franken's Senate campaign had sent a letter to Ritchie and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty Monday asking them to sign off on the official election certificate that names Franken winner.
(Updated with Pawlenty and Coleman camp responses after the jump)