Republican Norm Coleman on Tuesday refused to rule out an appeal if a three-judge panel rules against his challenge in what he called “the race that never ends.”
Coleman, who now has no Senate office to call his own, lunched with Senate Republicans in Washington on Tuesday and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. In the closed lunch meeting, Coleman gave his colleagues an update on his legal challenge to Democrat Al Franken’s 225-vote lead in Minnesota.
Coleman, who has been raising funds to help with his legal bills, said he doesn’t even have to ask his Senate Republican colleagues for money because “everybody knows how important this race is, how important this seat is.”
Coleman said his lawyers will wrap up their arguments by the end of the week, and he expected a ruling to come down in a “couple weeks.” If he loses, he would not say whether he would try to appeal a ruling with the state Supreme Court.
“I’m not ruling it in or ruling it out, let’s see what the court does and hopefully they’ll do the right thing,” Coleman said.
He added: “This process already is Tolstoy-esque.”
Democrats have grown impatient with the case and have threatened to try to seat Franken, who would be the 59th Democrat in a chamber where 60 votes are needed to move substantial legislation.
“The reason why he’s making such a fuss is that it’s not going his way,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Rules Committee.
But Schumer wouldn’t say whether there would be an effort by his committee or the Senate to seat Franken if Coleman appeals the matter, a move that would be open to a GOP filibuster.
“The people of Minnesota will be very fair – that’s all,” Schumer said.
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