Coleman ready to throw in the towel?

The former Minnesota senator might not take his case to federal court after all

By Alex Koppelman

Published June 4, 2009 4:25PM (EDT)

Thursday brings an interesting update from Roll Call on the state of the never-ending race between former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Democratic challenger Al Franken. For one thing, the paper reports, the Republican establishment is, at this point, basically willing to let Coleman take the case as far as he wants, or drop it when he wants.

That's particularly important in light of this passage from the article:

Sources close to Coleman say the former Senator would likely give up his legal battle and accept defeat if the Minnesota Supreme Court decides in Franken’s favor. That’s because Coleman anticipates that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) would ultimately sign Franken’s certification papers.

If that's true, it'd represent a reversal. Throughout the legal battle, Coleman's team has, by all appearances, been preparing for a final showdown in federal court, even tailoring the language of their arguments for those courts rather than Minnesota's.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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