By Josh Gelfand
The Democrats now have the filibuster-proof majority they've been hoping for, at least on paper. Today the Minnesota Supreme Court decided unanimously to declare Al Franken the winner of the long-contested Senate seat. The Court determined that incumbent Norm Coleman did not have the grounds to dispute the election, and they recommended that Franken be seated.
Coleman conceded, even though he had the opportunity to seek a federal injunction. Governor Tim Pawlenty said he would sign the certification to seat Franken today.
With the two Senate independents – Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut – that usually caucus with the Dems, it looks as though they will have the necessary 60 votes necessary to block Republican filibusters. The Dems have been challenged by the absences of senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, who've been ill.
Franken cannot be seated until next week because the Senate is out of session for a long Fourth of July weekend.