Josh Marshall’s bad news for Franken…

which is posted here, represents a pure case of liberal projection. Marshall deems Governor Tim Pawlenty’s decision not to seek a third term (announced yesterday) bad news for Franken. Why?

As long as he was going to run for governor and had to face Minnesota voters again, there was good reason for him not to completely stick his finger in the eye of the election process. But now that’s not holding him back. And since he’s probably running for president, he’ll have tons of incentive to pander to the hardcore tea-bagging wing of the GOP and keep Franken out of the senate as long as he can.

This is simply stupid. Governor Pawlenty has declined to issue a certificate of election to date because it was premature to do so under the applicable statute. The statute provides that In case of a contest, an election certificate shall not be issued until a court of proper jurisdiction has finally determined the contest.

Marshall’s comments are consistent with a silly Franken ploy. In January Franken’s attorneys had sent a letter to Governor Pawlenty and Secretary Ritchie asking them to sign off on an election certificate that names Franken the winner of the election. Franken’s attorneys told reporters on a conference call that Pawlenty and Ritchie had a legal obligation to sign. “We believe the law is clear,” said lead Franken attorney Marc Elias.

In February Franken filed a petition in the Minnesota Supreme Court seeking an order for the issuance of a certificate of election. Franken argued that Minnesota law requires, and that federal law also preempts state law and requires, issuance of the certificate to him. With the election certificate, Franken sought to be “provisisonally seated” in the Senate

Franken accordingly asked the Court to order Governor Pawlenty and Secretary of State Ritchie to issue the certificate that state law otherwise precludes them from issuing until the conclusion of the election contest that is proceeding in the Minnesota courts. Governor Pawlenty and Secretary of State Ritchie elected to abide by state law and declined to issue Franken the election certificate.

At oral argument on Franken’s petition before the Minnesota Supreme Court the justices pressed Elias on the difficulties with his argument. If Elias didn’t visibly squirm, he at least sounded extremely uncomfortable. For want of Franken’s vote in the Senate, Elias pleaded with the Court at the end of his argument, the Democrats’ sacred porkapoolaza package might be lost! Here again, Elias proved an unreliable guide. The Dems managed to serve up the porkapalooza just fine without Franken’s assistance.

Coleman was joined by the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General in opposition to Franken’s petition. Minnesota Solicitor General Alan Gilbert conceded that the Franken/Elias arguments were “creative,” but otherwise found no merit in them. Indeed, Gilbert stated that the State took the view that the certificate of election was not to issue until the conclusion of any appeals that might follow the election contest.

I found no legal merit in Franken’s arguments. None. Zilch. Nada. I estimated the probability of their success, on a scale of 0 to 100, somewhere between 0 and 1. In the event, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Franken’s argument in a 24-page per curiam opinion.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has not yet ruled on Coleman’s appeal of the election contest decision. It will do so shortly. When the Supreme Court’s decision becomes final, Pawlenty will issue the certificate. Why? Because he has been following the law, not a partisan script. For Marshall and his fellow liberals, politics is all.

Franken’s demand for a certificate of election before the completion of the legal proceedings represents, as I have noted previously, a variation on a common male malady. Franken has a severe case of premature electionation. Marshall has been affected by it. I predict that Governor Pawlenty will follow the law and will issue the election certificate precisely when the time comes.

Via RealClearPolitics.

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