Franken sues for certification

Jan. 13, 2009 at 5:29 PM
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ST.PAUL, Minn., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Democrat Al Franken is challenging a Minnesota law preventing him from being certified as Minnesota's newest U.S. senator.

Attorneys for Franken Tuesday filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to overturn the law, which prohibits an election result from being certified while still under challenge, The Hill reported. Incumbent Republican Norm Coleman is contesting the results of a state recount that gave a 225 vote victory margin to Franken.

Monday, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie declined to certify Franken as the winner. But Franken's lawyers plan to argue federal law and the U.S. Constitution trump the state law. The 12-page petition alleges Pawlenty and Ritchie erred in declining to certify Franken, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer-Press reported.

"Even if the governor issues a certificate of election prior to the conclusion of the contest phase, I will not sign it," Ritchie said.

"Right now every other state has two United States senators except for Minnesota," Franken attorney Marc Elias told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "What we are seeking is to ensure Minnesota has a full voice, not half a voice, but a full voice in the United States senate during the pendency of this contest."

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