Minnesota Supreme Court Votes Unanimously With Franken — Coleman Concedes

225px-AlFranken2009.JPG I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, the Minnesota Supreme Court Likes Me. This election may have been a virtual tie, but Al Franken swept the Minnesota Supreme Court today. The Court ruled that Franken should be certified as the winner of the state’s Senate race — rejecting a challenge by Republican Norm Coleman. With Franken, the Democrats will have the votes to overcome any filibuster (if you include the two independents).

On election night, Coleman was ahead by a margin of 206 votes out of more than 2.9 million votes. After the recount, Franken led by 225 votes.

Coleman’s hopes were pinned on thousands of absentees votes that were rejected by election officials, but the Supreme Court found that those voters failed to satisfy the conditions set out for such voting.

On the substantive due process issue, the court ruled:

We conclude that our existing case law requires strict compliance by voters with the requirements for absentee voting. Thus, we reject Coleman’s argument that only substantial compliance by voters is required. Having rejected this argument, we also conclude that the trial court’s February 13 order requiring strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting was not a deviation from our well-established precedent.

Because strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting is, and has always been, required, there is no basis on which voters could have reasonably believed that anything less than strict compliance would suffice. Furthermore, Coleman does not cite, and after review of the record we have not found, any evidence in the record that election officials required only substantial compliance in any past election or any official pronouncements that only substantial compliance would be required in the November 4, 2008 election. Nor does Coleman point us to the testimony of any voter who neglected to comply with the statutory requirements for absentee voting in reliance on either past practice or official assurances that strict compliance was not required.

At oral argument, Coleman posited that because of the increased use of the absentee voting method, it should now be treated as a right, not a privilege. But that is a policy determination for the legislature, not this court, to make. Indeed, Coleman‟s counsel acknowledged during oral argument that Coleman cannot claim that any voters changed their behavior based on the alleged substantial compliance standard.

It is difficult to argue with the Court’s opinion, which is well-written and well-based. There is no satisfying conclusion here for everyone. Coleman’s supporters have a right to be bitter. A couple hundred votes put the result on an almost arbitrary basis. I have long believed that there should be an automatic re-vote when candidates (both presidential or congressional) fail to receive a majority of votes. With the two most popular candidates, the election is likely to produce a majority favorite and avoid most such razor-thin results. While it is possible to still have close races, it is less likely.

Coleman has conceded the race.

Here is the ruling: OPA090697-6030

For the story, click here.

240 thoughts on “Minnesota Supreme Court Votes Unanimously With Franken — Coleman Concedes”

  1. mespo writes: I’ve got a gas burner on my outdoor grill but I don’t have anywhere to wash pots or pans. The bar sink is under repair too. I am trying to work out of the garage sink. What do you think about a heavy cast iron dutch oven? I can use that on an old Coleman stove I have.

    I think this is what restaurants were invented for. and carry out.
    the problem with the coleman is that you probably can’t get it hot enough to do anything interesting and for sure heat a cast iron dutch oven all the way through. you’d do better with a campfire. what you can do if you are really determined is to heat water from your garden hose on the coleman stove to wash smaller dishes in a large soup pot. all in all it seems much more trouble than its worth unless you really like that sort of thing.

  2. Patty,
    Thank you for the couscous recipe, I was looking for one after having some delicious couscous this weekend. I personally prefer cast iron for all my cooking, but my wife won’t let me buy it because she says it to heavy for her. This is strange since I do all the cooking, by her choice.

    Have you taken up the cudgel? Wouldn’t ignoring be more fun?
    As to IS I think he sees himself as a gadfly from the Right. If he could only understand the definitions better maybe he could be.

  3. Mespo,

    You said on:

    July 2, 2009 @9:21pm.
    “My examole was a classic example of the formal logical fallacy of affirming the consequent.”

    The info you gave for your argument was on :

    July 2, 2009 @8:31 pm.
    “1. All jackasses bray loudly.”
    “2. sicilian1 brays loudly.
    “3. Ipso facto, sicilian 1 is a loud jackass!”

    So, You have stated that that was an example of affirming the consequent.
    According to your info it would be impossible to affirm the consequent b/c there was no consequent in the first premise. The whole idea about affirming the consequent is to prove the antecedent. Obviously the only way to prove the antecedent is to have a consequent to affirm.
    B/c your argument has incomplete info it would be absolutlely impossible to conclude anything deductively or even inductively.

    But, ignorant as you are, I will give you an assist.
    Giving you the benefit of the doubt lets put the argument in a form better to prove your point.

    1. (If all jackasses bray loudly and if sicilian1 brays loudly) then sicilian1 is a loud jackass
    2. sicilian1 brays loudly
    C. sicilian1 is a loud jackass!

    That would be a modus ponens argument as I explained it to you before.
    The antecedent of the 1st premise is in the form of a conjunction() which then leads to the consequent of the conditional statement (You, yourself set it up in if/then form)
    In the second premise the antecedent of the 1st premise () is affirmed b/c both premises are true but only b/c your faulty logic has declared them to be true.
    That would lead one to conclude that the consequent of the 1st premise MUST be true.

    As was said that is what you call CLASSIC modus ponens argumentation.

    With your info trying to put it in as you claimed; classis affirming the consequent form it would look more like this:

    1. (If all jackassess bray loudly and sicilian1 brays loudly)then sicilian1 is a loud jackass
    2. sicilian1 is a loud jackass
    C. All jackassess bray loudly and sicilian1 brays loudly.

    You task in affirming the consequent is to prove the antecedent true which you fallaciously try to trick your audience into believing your conclusion to be true. (ALL affirming the consequents as a rule are fallacious)(But in argumentation you do not care about truth or fallacy ONLY what you can prove)

    So, in your second premise you have affirmed your consequent which by rule means your antecedent has been proven true.

    But do you see how in your ignorance, even if one bends over backward to try and interpret what your inferior mind was trying to articulate, if your info is plugged in to affirm the consequent, which you stated your example to be a classic representation of, that it only proves that jackasses and sicilian1 bray loudly. NOT that sicilian1 is a jackass which is what you intended to conclude.

    Do you see how you’ve been exposed as an intellectual charlatan. I was able to use your own quotes (July 2, 2009 @8:31/July 2, 2009 @9:31)That is how any skilled attorney would operate. I used your own words to prove my point that you are only an intllectual fraud.

    So not only are you ignorant. But you double your ignorance by thinking that you’re schooling another when all you ended up accomplishing was magnifying your own ignorance. Then you triple your ignorance by refusing to admit your ignorance. Then you continue to compound you ignorance by rationalizing, manipulating and trying to re-frame what you said or re-define what were your intended accomplishments.

    You need to engage in a deep existential inquiry of your soul to come to terms w/the inyellectual facade you present to the outside world and your failure to truly admit how ignorant you really are. B/c if you continue to bask in your vapidity and try to present yourself as something you are not then you will never have true peace of mind. You will only continue the losing battle of trying to prove the unprovable about yourself or even attain that of which you are not endowed with the abilities to attain.

    You are an ignorant and a fraud. But that does not mean that is a static state. I would say you should search your soul to correct your flaws and come to a more complete state of being.

  4. If I may be so bold as to return to the nominal subject of this thread, Senator Al Franken will be sworn in today, July 7, 2009. At long last. Mazel tov!

  5. Good links here from your neck of the woods, mespo.



    mespo – this salad can stand on its own, but also good with grilled chicken.

    If you can find tuna steaks how about a Salad Nicoise? If you grill salmon, you can make cakes from a couple of 8 oz leftovers.
    You can also steam mussels with a splash of wine or clams in beer in a plastic bag in the microwave. ‘Sautee’ some garlic, bell pepper, and onion and herbs (basil, oregano, thyme) and S&P in olive oil, first to flavor. A baguette and a salad-that’s dinner.

    An exotic Moroccan couscous salad with chickpeas, raisins and colorful vegetables coated in a delicately spiced olive oil and lemon dressing. Serves four as a side dish or two as a main meal.

    1 cup quick-cooking couscous
    ¼ cup raisins
    1¼ cups boiling chicken or vegetable stock
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 clove garlic—minced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 carrot—peeled and grated
    ½ red pepper—diced
    ¼ red onion—finely diced
    1 cup canned chickpeas—rinsed and drained
    2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    MIX the couscous with the raisins in a bowl and pour over the boiling stock. COVER with a dish towel, plate or plastic wrap to seal in the steam and let sit for 5 minutes. PLACE the oil, lemon juice, garlic, spices, and salt in a jar with a screw-top lid and shake to mix. FLUFF the couscous with a fork to separate the grains and stir through the carrot, red pepper, onion, chickpeas and parsley. POUR over the dressing and toss together until well combined.

    Mixed Vegetable, Chickpea, Prune & Pine Nut Couscous. Fluffy couscous combined with a selection of colorful vegetables, chickpeas, toasted pine nuts, chopped prunes and Moroccan seasonings.

    Insalata di Riso (Italian Rice Salad). Packed with tasty and healthful ingredients including tuna, tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, mushrooms, peas, cubed mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts and peppers.

    Moroccan Chicken & Olive Tagine with Almond Couscous. Tasty chicken and olive tagine, served over a bed of almond-studded couscous.

  6. IS:

    “At least Scilian1 is trying to make his own points and use his own mind.”


    As with Sarah Palin, that’s the scary part.

  7. Mespo,

    No in the world of practical logic I am the victor.

    You are the intellectual ignorant who can’t admit that you presented:

    A) half a premise.
    B) A second premise that drew a on a non-existent consequent.
    C)A conclusion that was impossible to draw from the information in the premises.

    Did you tell that to your suppossed professor when you saw him?

    You are still such an arrogant that you continue to engage me after I exposed your ignorance, unable to accept that fact which only causes you to further expose yourself for the consumate ignorant that you are.

    You know, lawyers are suppossed to be able to put their arguments through a truth table before they present them so they know where are the possible holes in their arguments which their opponents may attack.

    You must’ve missed that class. Or maybe you’re just so smug in your psuedo intellect which you’ve probably worked hard at fabricating and which those in your progressive crowd are so used to congratulating that you can no longer see how ignorant you’ve become.

    I exposed you yet you persist.

  8. mespo727272:

    is a dipthong something a girl with 2 butts would wear?

  9. mespo727272:

    personally I was just joking around and used nie as an abreviation for the old english “níehst” roughly meaning near.

    No more so the intellectual than you looking for quotes on “Bartlets Famous Quotations” to make points that you are unable to make for yourself. I think one refers to that as “second handedness”. At least Scilian1 is trying to make his own points and use his own mind.

  10. “…for another day is nie and promises rebirth and a new chance.””


    nie? Which day is “nie?” Let me help, “for another day is [Tuesday] and promises rebirth and a new chance.”

    LOL, you guys really are intellectuals.

    And sicilian1 I do admit you are the intellectual victor in the world of logic you possess– a lonely world, but at least it’s yours. LOL

  11. What do you think about a heavy cast iron dutch oven? I can use that on an old Coleman stove I have.

    Absolument fabuleux!

    Cast iron doesn’t like a lot of soap or scrubbing.

    Empty, wipe, rinse, and fire dry. Light oiling with a soft cloth
    once in a while…

  12. mespo727272:

    I must admit, I think Sicilian1 has a point about that entire Prof. story. That is what it sounded like to me as well.

  13. mespo727272:

    actually what is logic good for? especially the new logic. One can “prove” a horse is a table but so what?

    I dont need to prove gravity, I just need to drop a ball. I dont need to prove that an object remains at rest until acted upon by another, I need only kick a ball.

    What good is “formal logic” if you prove a fallacy? Maybe as an exercise to stimulate the brain but little else unless used honestly.

    I think you lawyers rely on “formal logic” to prove invalid points to make your case.

    I think categories are more important and a prerequisite for logic. You have to be able to differentiate between horse and table.

  14. Mespo,

    Oh yes, try to denigrate me after I proved your inferiority. That is the progressive way.

    Your argument was in fact inferior and juvenile w/only 2 premises, even if you are given the benifit of the doubt to assume what you were trying to convey.

    I already explained to you the difference b/t modus ponens, modus tollens, denying the antecedent and affirming the consequent. I explained to you a negation, disjunction and a conjunction in addition to a conditional (if/then) statement.

    I even showed you examples of how they would apply to your incomplete argument. I did you the favor of assuming what your ignorant mind was incapable of expressing.

    The fabricated story w/your professor will not cover for your ignorance.

    B/c even if they lie of that “run-in” is to be believed it shows that you were to ignorant to even know what you were trying to propose b/c you had to ask someone after your ignorance was exposed.

    It also shows you were dishonest in the suppossed question you asked your suppossed professor b/c I only critically dissected what you presented. The question couldn’t have been anything beyond a simple logic 101 question b/c that was all the info you provided.

    Just admit your intellectual inferiority was exposed. Then your ego so wounded you had to go run to some progressive professor to sooth yourself, if that is even to be believed

  15. BIL:

    I am no more a troll than you or mespo or AY.

    I am a man I am not a troll. I am mortal flesh, that feels pain and rejoices in life. I am not a troll, a thousands times no, to bear such ignominy and shame is beyond the limits of human endurance.

    I sought affirmation but received ridicule, cruel fates of life lead me to the river. Shall I cross or remain sentient, for another day is nie and promises rebirth and a new chance.

    A bullet or the sun? My eternal question.

  16. Buddha:

    Don’t remonstrate our little foolish friends. I am enjoying their bluster. This obsession with affirming the consequent is hysterical. Apparently a subtle form of the formal fallacy really has him going. Unless it’s written as an if/then statement he’s really crisscrossed–typical novice. That, of course, is why I wrote it that way. I ran into my old undergrad prof at lunch the other day and this is the type of argument he gets from freshman in their first year of logic! I see sicilian1 has at least gotten that far. Brava!

  17. Patty C:

    I’ve got a gas burner on my outdoor grill but I don’t have anywhere to wash pots or pans. The bar sink is under repair too. I am trying to work out of the garage sink. What do you think about a heavy cast iron dutch oven? I can use that on an old Coleman stove I have.

  18. Progressives,

    The talk of math.

    Oh, such great intellects, my math problem awaits your solving.

    5 July 2009 @3:45

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