After a trial spanning nearly three months, Norm Coleman’s attempt to reverse Al Franken’s lead in the recount of the U.S. Senate election was soundly rejected today by a three-judge panel that dismissed the Republican’s lawsuit. Unanimously.
Coleman has been ordered to pay Franken’s legal costs.
Al Franken has won the election. Should Coleman appeal?
My thoughts below.
As always, the instructive thing to do here is to reverse the roles in a hypothetical situation. Suppose Coleman had pulled ahead after those additional ballots were issued. Or, perhaps, Coleman was ahead all this time and Franken had brought the challenge. After the ruling, would I want Franken to appeal?
I find in my heart–no. I would not want Franken to appeal after all this time. I would urge Al Franken to not go to appeal. The reason is simple. It’s been months since the election, and poor Amy Klobuchar is overworked as our lone senator. Sure, the loser, Coleman in our world, Franken in my gedankenexperiment, would have the *right* of appeal.
But just because there is a right doesn’t mean it should be exercised. I am reminded of a recount in the Governor’s race in 1962 between Lt. Governor Karl Rolvaag and Governor Elmer Andersen. The ultimate loser of the recount and court challenge, Andersen, did NOT appeal it (even though he could), and gave up for the good of the state.
I think Norm Coleman should emulate the late Gov. Andersen and not pursue an appeal, for the good of the State of Minnesota. I would hope, in my gedankenexperiment, that Al Franken would have and would do the same, and in that gedankenexperiment world, I would urge Al to give up his right of appeal.
Minnesota needs two Senators. Period. It’s been long enough.