The unanimous ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court in favor of Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken is also a win for D.C. lawyer Marc Elias.
Elias, a partner with Perkins Coie, has represented Franken through much of the legal battle since the November election. A specialist in elections law and campaign finance who was general counsel to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004, Elias argued Franken’s case before the Minnesota Supreme Court a month ago.
The court ruled 5-0 today that Franken, a satirist-turned-politician, won the election and should be certified as the winner, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The decision could have far-reaching implications for the Senate, where Franken would be the 60th vote controlled by or allied with the Democrats (58 Democratic and two Independent senators). Among other things, it would be easier to advance nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court, the lower federal courts and the Department of Justice.
The case is now in the hands of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has the authority to issue a certificate of election to Franken. If former Sen. Norm Coleman, the Republican candidate whose incumbency ended in January, chooses to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, then any emergency request would go to Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Alito hears all emergency appeals from the 8th Circuit, which includes Minnesota.
Minneapolis lawyer Joseph Friedberg represents Coleman.
UPDATE: Alito's services will not be needed. Coleman has conceded.