Minn. Supreme Court: Al Franken won Minnesota Senate race

Chris Rizo Jul. 1, 2009, 9:00am

Al Franken (D)

Norm Coleman (R)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) - The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that Democrat Al Franken won the state's protracted U.S. Senate race against Republican Norm Coleman.

On Tuesday, the state's high court found that in the Nov. 4 general election Franken won 312 votes more than Coleman.

Now, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty can sign the official election certificate, as he said he would following the court's ruling.

"We affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under (Minnesota state law) to receive the certificate of election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota," the court ruled.

Coleman has conceded the race to Franken, the 57-year-old comedian-turned-politician.

Franken won the initial ballot recount in January by 225 votes. Coleman sued, contesting the election results.

In April, yet another ballot count gave Franken an edge. That time, he had a 312 vote lead over 59-year-old Coleman. The count was of 351 of 387 previously rejected absentee ballots. Forty-two of the ballots went to other and third-party candidates.

The outcome of the Minnesota Senate race affects the partisan balance in the U.S. Senate.

Franken's victory gives Democrats 60 seats in the upper house -- counting the two independents who caucus with the Democrats -- which is enough to break Republican filibusters.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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