It is now clear that Al Franken should be addressed as Senator Al Franken. Former Senator Norm Coleman has lost his appeal (pun is intended).

From Minn Trib:

After a trial spanning nearly three months, the judicial panel dismissed Coleman’s central argument that the election and its aftermath were fraught with systemic errors that made the results invalid.

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.

The panel concluded that Franken, a DFLer, “received the highest number of votes legally cast” in the election. Franken emerged from the trial with a 312-vote lead, the court ruled, and “is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election.”

It is time for conservatives to sit down and truly look at themselves (doubt it will happen).  Things they argued for just three to four years ago now they’re arguing against.  Conservatives “hated” frivolous lawsuits.  Yet no one Coleman’s lawyers have stated that they are extremely unlikely to win this case yet they’re going to take it to the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Why?

Remember when conservatives used to tell us that they love the country more than liberals?  The conservatives of Minnesota love Minnesota so much that they would prefer to tie up a Senator in legal wranglings for another six to 12 months rather than have Al Franken represent the state in the Senate.  It may be that the money machine that was supporting Coleman is running out of money.  Coleman has to pay for this trial and, if Franken’s attorneys are on the ball, they should ask the court to make Coleman fork over money upfront for the next trial.  This would mean that Coleman would have to pony up millions of dollars.

More From Minn Trib:

But experts who read the panel’s 68-page ruling say it effectively attacks some of the very arguments that Coleman would use on appeal.

“It is the kind of opinion that is unlikely to be disturbed on appeal by either the Minnesota Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court,” said Richard Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The opinion considers the major arguments made by Coleman and rejects them in a detailed and measured way.”

Added University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs: “This is judicial speak for ‘nothing here,’ and it is most definitely aimed at the appeals process. It’s a signal that they are supremely unimpressed by the Coleman case.”

That seems to be it.  Game, set and match.

Finally from TPM:

Possible Double-Counted Votes
The Coleman camp has contended that Franken benefitted by anywhere from 60 to over 100 votes due to double-counted absentee ballots, stemming from human errors on Election Night in labeling duplicates of damaged original absentees. But here the court really lets Coleman have it: His campaign drew up the procedures used to count these ballots, insisted on strict adherence even when problems became apparent, and did not object to them until it was far too late.

And the court notes that other explanations exist for possible double-counting — for example, a precinct where accepted absentee ballots weren’t marked on the rosters on Election Night. And since Coleman failed to present clear evidence that double-counts actually occurred, that means he can’t get the relief he wants — to chop votes off of Franken’s totals.