Thursday, June 04, 2009

What will Pawlenty do?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

He's not running for re-election in 2010, and he may be eyeing a presidential run in 2012, but, for now, the key issue confronting the Minnesota governor is whether to certify Al Franken's victory over Norm Coleman in last year's Senate election. Some are worrying that pressure from the national GOP, and the need to please the far-right base of the party, will be enough to persuade Pawlenty to keep dragging out the process by not certifying Franken's victory, but, as I wrote yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court will likely issue a ruling that forces him to do what is right, not what he may perceive to be in his personal and partisan interests (though it may not be in his best interest to enable Coleman's ongoing fight by going against both the courts and public opinion, as well as by coming across as a hyper-partisan extremist). And, with experts overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, suggesting that Coleman has run out of legal options, Pawlenty stated yesterday that he would certify Franken's victory...

Or not. Because he gave himself an out. He will certify only if there is no "other contrary direction from a federal court."

Or perhaps only if there is no appeal. From the transcript, it's not at all clear what he meant when he stated "and there's not an appeal or some other contrary direction from a federal court." Does this mean that he won't certify if the Coleman team appeals the ruling? Does this mean that he would allow an appeal by a fellow Republican to trump a ruling of his state's Supreme Court?)

We shall see.

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