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Court Rejects Franken Petition To Be Seated

Democrat Al Franken has lost a bid to force Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign an election certificate that would allow him to be seated in the Senate.

For months, Franken and Republican rival Norm Coleman have been embroiled in legal battles over who actually won the Minnesota Senate election in November. While the results initially showed a Coleman victory, a recount found that Franken led by 225 votes.

Before the recount, Coleman called for Franken to concede the election; afterward, he took the matter to the courts. Franken has also filed legal challenges. Both sides have sued to have rejected absentee ballots – at least, the ones most likely to favor them – counted. Coleman has tried to have the recount results thrown out. (For more, see our update here.)

Following today's decision, the Coleman camp sent out a release trumpeting the "wise ruling will ensure that Harry Reid, Al Franken and Chuck Schumer cannot short-circuit Minnesota Law in their partisan power play."

"Despite Al Franken's efforts to disenfranchise thousands of Minnesota voters, Norm Coleman is committed to ensuring a legal and fair election," said Coleman spokesman Ben Ginsberg.

How do Minnesotans feel about the ongoing standoff? Forty-six percent want a revote, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll, while 44 percent do not – which, considering the margin of error, amounts to a tie.

No figures were offered on the percentage who simply wants the whole thing to go away.

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