File this under “It Can’t Hurt to Ask”: Al Franken’s lawyers plan to request Friday that judges dismiss Norm Coleman’s lawsuit contesting the Minnesota U.S. Senate election recount that put Franken up by 225 votes.
Franken’s motion to dismiss can’t be a completely unwelcome development in the three-judge court’s chambers. They’ve already rejected out of hand Coleman’s assertions of Florida-level electoral chaos and fined the former senator’s side for wasting their time. And some points in Franken’s motion (pdf via UpTake/MinnPost) are so indisputable that even Coleman’s camp has already conceded them.
But throwing out Coleman’s case — however tempting that might be to the judges after more than five weeks at trial – would risk delivering to the public a TKO (to use a not-so-far-out boxing term) that offer a diminished sense of resolution compared to a unanimous decision after proceedings that have run their full course. And that result could be achieved be within two weeks.
So Franken’s motion to dismiss, while not exactly DOA, is likely to find a home in the same dead-letter office that has since Jan. 13 been home to his petition (pdf) asking the state Supreme Court to force the governor and secretary of state to issue him the certificate of election he needs to be seated in the U.S. Senate.