The Minnesota Supreme Court Tuesday morning ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state's never ending Senate race and recount that was decided by only a few hundred votes. Finally, the paint has dried ...
The high court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat dwindled to almost nothing. Shortly after the decision was announced, Coleman accepted the loss, conceding and congratulating Franken on his victory. Coleman told reporters outside his St. Paul home, "The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results; in these tough times we all need to focus on the future, and the future is that we have a new United States Senator."
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week because the Senate is out of session for the July 4th holiday.
The unanimous court wrote that "because the legislature established absentee voting as an optional method of voting, voters choosing to use that method are required to comply with the statutory provisions." They went on to say that "because strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting is, and always has been required, there is no basis on which voters could have reasonably believed that anything less than strict compliance would suffice."
The 58 year old Franken was born in New York City but was raised in St. Louis Park, Minn., a suburb near Minneapolis. He graduated cum laude in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Harvard University. Best known as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live from 1975-1980 and 1985-1995 and as the radio talk show host for The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio from 2004-2007, Franken has also authored several books, including Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (1996) and Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (2003).