The fate of a former Senate Ag Committee member is now in the hands of the courts as the battle for the contested U.S. Senate Seat from Minnesota continues. Lawyers for Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken made their cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court Monday. Coleman's attorney is challenging a trial court decision that named Franken the winner by 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast. They're claiming thousands of Minnesota absentee voters have been disenfranchised due to inconsistent standards the counties used for counting absentee ballots and exacerbated by court rulings. To remedy that problem the Coleman team recommended counting thousands more absentee ballots that substantially complied with voting laws. Franken's legal team has held that Coleman's challenges are without merit.
The five Minnesota Supreme Court justices - two recused themselves in the case after sitting on the canvassing board that oversaw the recount - will now begin deliberations. A ruling could come in days or weeks. Franken declared victory after a trial court ruled in April. That reinforced the results of a hand recount that gave Franken a 225 vote lead.