Today’s announcement by the Franken campaign — that they will provisionally rest their case tomorrow — has likely changed the timeline of the case dramatically, a top election expert in Minnesota tells TPM.
Professor David Schultz, a teacher of election law at Hamline University, was previously predicting that a ruling would take until mid-April at the earliest. But that assumed Team Franken would take 2-3 weeks to make its case, as opposed to the week and two days they’ll have actually used. “I would say we could anticipate — we should anticipate at this point — definitely before the end of the month,” said Schultz. “It very well might be in a couple of weeks.”
After that, the next step will be the appeals, which are likely to be fast-tracked straight to the state Supreme Court — and which Schultz expects will come from Coleman, with the court likely to have ruled that Franken is the winner: “It doesn’t look like at this point the Coleman campaign has either made the arguments or has the numbers to switch it over to his side for victory. So I presume at this point that the court will find for Franken.”
Schultz also affirmed that the Coleman camp’s latest gambit — to declare that the true winner cannot be determined, and the election results should be set aside — is simply off the table legally. “He has to do more than simply cast doubt,” said Schultz. “He has to make the case as to why, on the preponderance of evidence, he won.”