Court Sides With Franken, Forbids Coleman From Sneaking New Evidence In

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The Minnesota election court giveth to Coleman, and now they taketh away.

After granting Coleman mercy on a serious defeat he had suffered yesterday, the court has now shot him down on a separate matter, granting in full a Franken motion to forbid Coleman from obtaining questionable evidence from the counties, in Coleman’s effort to get more ballots for himself counted.

Two days ago, the Coleman camp sent e-mails to county officials, asking them to certify that selected absentee voters whose ballots have been rejected did in fact meet all the legal requirements pertaining to voter-registration, and that they didn’t also vote on Election Day. Coleman was pursuing one side of his case — that votes for himself weren’t counted that should be — and wanted local officials to be able to phone it in rather than come to court. The Franken camp filed a motion in limine to forbid this maneuver, arguing it violated the rules of evidence by seeking out new documents without the ability to properly cross-examine the officials.

The court said that Coleman can submit pre-existing government documents such as voter registrars, Election Day precinct rosters, etc. But this new evidence simply isn’t trustworthy — they would be new judgments of government officials, specifically solicited by a single party in the middle of litigation.The key quote:

The information Contestants seek to obtain through these certifications are in dispute. This election contest is nearing the end of its fifth week of trial. The Court has heard a tremendous amount of evidence. The testimony from the witnesses has been vital to this Court’s function as fact-finder. A proffer of evidence made through email requests from county officials who may or may not have personal knowledge of the information Contestants seek would deprive the Court of the opportunity to evaluate the county officials’ testimony in the same manner it has evaluated the testimony of the witnesses already called.

Bottom line: Coleman was asking to build part of his case on manifestly inferior evidence. The court isn’t buying it.

The court also noted in their opinion that Coleman’s lawyers have said they plan to rest their case this week, and you see can above they mentioned how long this has already gone on. So it would appear that the judges intend to hold Coleman to that promise, and to block efforts to weasel out of it.

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