Norm Coleman’s lawyers wrapped up their case in the Minnesota Senate recount trial by suggesting that maybe the court can’t settle this thing after all. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
For more than a month, Norm Coleman stressed flaws in Minnesota’s election system.
And on Monday, Coleman lawyer Jim Langdon wrote the three-judge panel to suggest the problems are so serious they may not be able to declare a winner.
"Some courts have held that when the number of illegal votes exceeds the margin between the candidates — and it cannot be determined for which candidate those illegal votes were cast — the most appropriate remedy is to set aside the election," Langdon wrote in a letter to the court.
What exactly would that mean?
"Even if the court lacks the power to order a new election, it could simply release a final judgment saying that it is unable to say which candidate received more legal votes, and leave it to other parts of the state government to figure out what to do in this situation," wrote Prof. Edward Foley of Ohio State University.
Franken’s lawyer were due to start their case today, which is expected to take two to three weeks:
Franken lawyer Marc Elias said the team will begin a case today that will include evidence "about the good job that the state of Minnesota did … that the hardworking auditors and election night officials did. How the system worked, by and large."
But Franken lawyers will walk a tightrope with that strategy, because they also plan to call on voters to testify that their absentee ballots were wrongly rejected. While Coleman seeks to count 2,000 rejected ballots, the DFLer has a list of 804 rejected ballots he wants reconsidered. Elias said more than 100 voters could be called to testify, including more than a dozen today.