Minnesota Supreme Court to hear Coleman’s appeal Monday

The battle for the empty Senate seat will roll into seven months.

The battle for the remaining Minnesota Senate seat will have a new stage Monday âÄî the Minnesota Supreme Court. Starting at 9 a.m., five justices from the court will hear an appeal from Republican Norm Coleman to overrule a lower courtâÄôs ruling that Democrat Al Franken won last NovemberâÄôs election. Franken currently has a 312-vote lead. The Coleman camp is arguing equal protection âÄî which states that all citizens should be treated equally under state law. Ben Ginsberg, ColemanâÄôs attorney, said the judges denied votes by being more stringent toward determining eligible ballots during the trial than local officials were during the recount. ColemanâÄôs appeal also states that the lower court incorrectly ruled that the 132 missing ballots from a Dinkytown precinct should be counted. ColemanâÄôs team argues that because the ballots could not be found during the recount, they should not be counted in the final tally. David Schultz, professor at Hamline University and a nationally-recognized expert on politics, said in a previous interview that he expects the stateâÄôs Supreme Court to uphold the lower courtâÄôs ruling. âÄúThe three-judge panel did a very good job in its opinion, and what Coleman is asking is the higher court to disagree,âÄù he said. âÄúI donâÄôt think thatâÄôs going to happen.âÄù If the stateâÄôs Supreme Court rules in favor of Franken, the Coleman team hasnâÄôt ruled out a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the case is picked up by federal courts, experts say Minnesota could go until the fall without a second senator.