Coleman files appeal

A lower court has ruled Franken the winner.

Republican Norm Coleman filed an appeal today petitioning the Minnesota Supreme Court to overrule a lower courtâÄôs ruling that Democrat Al Franken won last NovemberâÄôs election. Franken currently has a 312-vote lead in the nearly six-month-old election. The appeal hinges on ColemanâÄôs claim that the lower court erred in its ruling and hinges on five issues presented in the appeal, one of which specifically mentions the missing ballots from a Dinkytown precinct. The court will hear the case June 1, yet there is no deadline for decision, meaning that Minnesota will likely be without a second senator deep into the summer. No matter the outcome, whoever the court rules against could try to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court or ask for help from the Senate itself. The ongoing Coleman/Franken battle drew increased national attention earlier this week when long-time Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania defected to the Democrats, meaning that if Franken prevails in his legal battle with Coleman the Democrats would have a large majority in the U.S. House, a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate and control of the White House which would signal a strong shift in power completely under the Democratic Party’s belt. Read the entire appeal here. Coleman’s appeal hinges on five main arguments: First, Coleman and his attorneys say the lower court excluded evidence regarding differing treatment of ballots across Minnesota and whether or not illegal or invalid votes were present in the totals used to determine Franken as the winner. Second, ColemanâÄôs camp is saying the court violated the constitutional right to equal protection under the law by ruling that Franken finished with the highest number of “legally cast” votes even though, under the court’s ruling, there were “illegally cast” votes counted in totals. Third, that the court erred when it used a âÄústrict compliance standardâÄù for rejected absentee ballots rather than those used by election officials previously, again violating Coleman’s constitutional right to equal protection. Fourth, that the court declined to order inspections of precincts where double counting may have occurred. Finally, that the court incorrectly ruled missing ballots from the Dinkytown precinct would be included in the final tally. -The Associated Press contributed to this report.