December 17th, 2008
06:03 PM ET
14 years ago

Minnesota judge to GOP lawyer: This is not the Florida recount

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The canvassing board met this week in Minnesota to review ballots in the state's very tight race for a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs"]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – A Minnesota justice hearing arguments from attorneys facing off in the year's last remaining Senate contest told a legal veteran of the 2000 presidential recount that his state is "not Florida."

Attorneys for both Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken presented their sides before the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday.

Speaking for Coleman before the panel of justices was attorney Roger Magnuson, no stranger to recount battles, who represented the Florida's state senate in Bush v. Gore.

If the state’s canvassing board includes any of the "improperly rejected absentee ballots" at the heart of the dispute, warned Magnuson, this race could easily turn into the debacle that ensued in Florida eight years ago.

He was immediately interrupted by Associate Justice Paul Anderson, who appeared to take serious issue with the analogy.

“I know you’ve been to Florida,” Anderson said. “This is not Florida. And I’m just not terribly receptive to you telling us that we’re going to Florida and we’re comparing to that. This is Minnesota. We’ve got a case in Minnesota. Argue the case in Minnesota.”

At hand is the issue of whether improperly rejected absentee ballots should be counted in a race that, as we speak, is still being tabulated. The Coleman campaign is responsible for initiating the court proceeding, and their argument is to keep the rejected absentee ballots out because, as they’ve maintained, each county does not have a uniform way of considering, reviewing, and then either rejecting or accepting, any of the originally rejected absentee ballots.

The justices expressed to the court that a decision would be “forthcoming” and no further details were given.

The panel of justices was slimmed down slightly — two members of the traditionally seven-member panel, including the chief justice, were absent because of their duties as appointees on the Secretary of State’s canvassing board. That board is involved in a multi-day process of sorting through almost 1500 challenged ballots.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Minnesota does have on thing in common with Broward and Dade Counties in Florida. People who could not follow instructions on how to properly use their ballot to vote!

    December 17, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  2. Godluvr

    Good for you, your Honor!

    December 17, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Bill from anywhere but Texas

    Hold up Sally, good points but don't mess with our Govonator, lol

    December 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. Indy

    Whoa! The MN Dems are really testy. I thought the people were all nice there. Makes you think. Walt sure is taking a beating.

    December 17, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. Indy

    Whoa! The MN Dems are really testy. I thought the people were all nice there. Makes you think. Walt sure is taking a beating.

    December 17, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Devon Cloud

    As a liberal, I find this whole thing laughable. First, we have so many seats already if Franken looses, who cares. We are probably better off with a few more conservatives anyway as it is always a bad thing to ahve a huge majority... History can show you that.
    At the same time, I do think that all votes should be counted. But all this talk about "don't call me Florida"... well, that sounds like something that should be said on the elementary school playground instead of a court room.

    Who cares what the stupid atty said, and for the justice who took offense, what exactly is wrong with Florida?

    December 17, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. Larry

    Al --–,no you cann't use any of Jessie Ventura extra left over votes.

    December 17, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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