Pawlenty 'prepared' to certify Franken

June 28, 2009 at 9:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday he is "prepared to sign" a certificate of election sending Al Franken to the U.S. Senate if a court directs him to.

In an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," the Republican governor said if the state Supreme Court rules in Franken's favor in a lawsuit brought by former Sen. Norm Coleman, he will "follow the direction of the court."

"We expect that ruling any day now," Pawlenty said. "I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I'm prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light."

Pawlenty noted that a federal court could overrule the state court decision.

"If they chose, if they do that, I would certainly follow their direction," he said. "But if that doesn't happen promptly or drags out for any period of time, then we need to move ahead with signing this, particularly if I'm ordered to do that by the state court."

Pawlenty -- who recently announced he will not run for re-election -- said he will not "defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty."

The state Supreme Court has been considering Coleman's lawsuit aimed at overturning Franken's apparent 312-vote victory following a recount. If Franken is seated, the Democratic Party would control 60 votes in the U.S. Senate.

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