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Scott Wente, Published April 26 2009

Coleman’s Minnesota Senate election appeal starts June 1

ST. PAUL – Minnesota will go at least until June without a second U.S. senator.

The Minnesota Supreme Court’s schedule to hear Norm Coleman’s Senate election appeal sets oral arguments for June 1.

In the meantime, Coleman’s and Democrat Al Franken’s campaigns will submit written briefs reflecting their positions on the appeal.

Coleman, who wants the state’s highest court to overturn Franken’s victory largely because of an absentee ballot dispute, must submit his initial arguments by Thursday. Franken must respond by May 11, and then Coleman has a May 15 deadline to reply.

The court will hear the campaigns’ arguments at 9 a.m. June 1.

Only five of the seven jurists are expected to consider the case. Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Justice G. Barry Anderson are not taking part because they served on the state Canvassing Board that certified vote results showing Franken won the election.

Coleman challenged that board’s ruling in an election contest, which involved a seven-week trial.

A three-judge panel that presided over the trial declared that Franken won the election by 312 votes.

Coleman is appealing that judicial panel’s ruling.

As the election litigation continues, Minnesota is represented in the

Wente works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum. He can be reached at (651) 290-0707 or swente@forumcomm.com