In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Coleman Lawyer To Court: We Don't Want To Un-Count Votes -- But You Have To

Langdon -- who disliked the strict-standards ruling ever since it came out -- said the campaign didn't really want to do it. "We would still prefer to have the obverse, to have the standard that was applied on Election Night," said Langdon, "which the evidence has demonstrated is a substantial compliance standard, which was applied differently from county to county."

Langdon said this comes down to both Equal Protection under the 14th Amendment, and the basic statutory definition itself: "At the end of the day the court is left with a conundrum as to how it can issue a judgment saying who got the highest number of legally-cast ballots."

Judge Denise Reilly later told Langdon that she couldn't find any previous instance in Minnesota cases of a reduction being performed. Langdon said he had seen one, and could get back to her with the citation.

In short, Team Coleman is playing a legal game of chicken with the judges, trying to get them to reverse that earlier ruling, and to otherwise muddy the waters.

Franken lawyer Marc Elias said that Team Coleman's real goal was to cast doubt on the entire election result and declare that we can't know what really happened, which they had denied earlier in the case.

"If Mr. Langdon believes that this court cannot determine who received the most legally-cast votes, then this court should dismiss his complaints" Elias said, and send the dispute to the United States Senate.

Elias said this new request has no basis in law -- and that it's an out-of-order last-minute surprise request by Coleman. "Pro-rata reduction? Where in the contest statute is pro-rata reduction? Where in their pleadings is pro-rata reduction?" he asked. "Pro-rata reduction on a statewide basis? On a county basis, on a precinct basis, on a sub-precinct basis? Targeted on a cherry-picked basis from their voter file they've used for the rest of their pleadings?"