June 04, 2009

Would Coleman File a Cert Petition if He Loses in the Minnesota Supreme Court?

Roll Call has a must-read article today on the Coleman legal strategy, which reveals, among other things, that the national Republican leadership will defer to Coleman's decision whether or not to fight on in federal court, that a filibuster of a choice to seat Franken after ruling in Franken's favor is unlikely, and that "Sources close to Coleman say the former Senator would likely give up his legal battle and accept defeat if the Minnesota Supreme Court decides in Franken's favor. That's because Coleman anticipates that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) would ultimately sign Franken's certification papers." This still leaves open the possibility of further delay, if, as I've suggested, Gov Pawlenty might await the outcome of a cert. petition in the U.S. Supreme Court before signing the papers. That process could take months unless there would be a request to expedite decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The question whether or not to file a cert. petition obviously cannot be made before the Minnesota opinion issues. But given Coleman's views, as explained in the Roll Call piece, about what he sees as the unfairness of the process, I would not count it out despite the political risks for Coleman.

Posted by Rick Hasen at June 4, 2009 07:58 AM