From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that Democrat Al Franken won the U.S. Senate election and said he was entitled to an election certificate that would lead to him being seated in the Senate.
“Affirmed,” wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Republican Norm Coleman’s claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory.
“Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled [under Minnesota law] to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota,” the court wrote.
But the court did not grant Franken’s bid to make its ruling effective immediately, possibly leaving a window for an appeal by Coleman before Gov. Tim Pawlenty is required to issue an election certificate.
“The bottom line is that the Court says that Franken is entitled to an election certificate, but there is no direct order to the state’s governor to sign one,” said Loyola Law School professor Richard Hasen, who has followed the case closely. “We’ll see what the governor does, if Coleman does not concede, as he well may at this point.”
In recent weeks, Pawlenty has talked about how he would not hold up an election certificate if ordered by the court to issue one.
“I’m going to do whatever the court says,” Pawlenty said at a news conference a couple of weeks ago. “When the court decides that issue, as soon as I’m directed or required to sign that certificate, I will. I am not going to hold it up or delay it in any fashion.”
In other words, with the court not “directing or requiring” the governor to issue the certificate of election, there’s just the slightest bit of wriggle room for Pawlenty. I doubt he would take it at this point, but….
UPDATE: Norm Coleman has conceded the race; Al Franken will now be seated.