After hedging for weeks about how he'll react to the state Supreme Court ruling on Minnesota's Senate race, Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave his clearest answer to date on Sunday.
"I'm going to follow the direction of the court," he said during an appearance on CNN. "We expect that ruling any day now. I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I'm prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light."
Previously, Pawlenty had talked about hypothetical outcomes of the ruling in the Senate contest between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, particularly if Coleman appealed a decision to federal court.
On Sunday, he pulled back slightly from those hypotheticals.
"Well, a federal court could stay or put a limit on or stop the effect of the state court ruling," he said. "If they chose, if they do that, I would certainly follow their direction. But if that doesn't happen promptly or drags out for any period of time, then we need to move ahead with signing this, particularly if I'm ordered to do that by the state court."
Pawlenty added: "I'm not going to defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty."
BOB VON STERNBERG