The trial of a lawsuit brought by Republican former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, challenging a recount that showed that his Democratic-Farmer-Labor opponent, Al Franken, had won their U.S. Senate race, begins today, in St. Paul.
Minnesota Public Radio describes the trial in this report.
Meanwhile, the Senate has been considering seating Franken on a provisional basis, pending the outcome of the litigation.
Democrats cite the precedent of Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, who was provisionally seated, pending a challenge to her 1996 victory. That race was not as close as the Coleman-Franken contest, and it revolved more around fraud allegations. No precedent is ever exactly on point, but I reluctantly concede that this one could arguably justify seating Franken.