Franken-Coleman Update, 04/22/09: Expedite That Sucker
As predicted in yesterday’s update, Team Franken filed a motion around lunchtime yesterday with the Minnesota Supreme Court for an expedited case schedule for the appeal lodged on Monday by Norm Coleman’s people. And when they say "expedited", they mean it: They call for the record of the Election Contest Court (referred to as the "District Court") proceedings to be delivered to the MNSC by the close of business Wednesday (that’s today), Coleman’s opening briefs to start next Monday the 27, Franken’s brief to start Saturday May 2, and Coleman’s final brief on Monday, May 4 at the latest, with oral arguments to start very soon afterwards.
There looks to be plenty of statutory justification, as well as past precedent pertaining to this particular contest, for this move. From page two of the motion:
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 209 contemplates that election contests will be expedited. For example, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 209.065, the contest proceedings were brought on for trial twenty days after the notice of contest was filed.
Chapter 209 also provides that appeals from a District Court decision should be expedited. Minn. Stat. § 209.10, subd. 4, applies to an appeal of an election contest involving a statewide office. See Minn. Stat. § 209.09, subd. 2 ("section 209.10, subd. 4, applies to a contest regarding a statewide office. . ."). Subdivison 4 of § 209.10 provides for expedited appeals. The deadline for the appeal is ten days after the "decision" (not entry of judgment) of the election contest court. Id. The record on appeal must be certified and filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen days after the service of notice of appeal. Id. The appeal "takes precedence over all matters for the Supreme Court." Id.
And there’s another full page of relevant state statutes being cited to buttress the case for expedition, as well as examples of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s own prior rulings — which were quite speedy — in this recount situation.
Meanwhile, the alert Chris Steller of the Minnesota Independent cites a piece from the Overruled blog which mentions that back in February of 2006, Bogus Ben Ginsberg –whose name is nowhere to be found on either of the two appeal documents submitted by the Coleman team (in other words, he’s still not representing Norm in court, only in the hallway) — was telling an audience at the Duke Law School that "Just like, really, with the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have some fundamental philosophical difficulties with the whole notion of Equal Protection." Which is hilarious, because Ginsberg’s been yammering about "equal protection" like a parrot on speed ever since he was hauled into town to take over yakking duties from Fritz Knaak.