From NBC's Pete Williams
As a technical matter, Norm Coleman has the legal option to appeal today's decision over the Minnesota Senate recount to the U.S. Supreme Court. As a practical matter, however, it's over.
Five members of the Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected every legal argument Coleman raised. Though the court has seven members, the ruling was unanimous.
Two members -- Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Justice Barry Anderson -- recused themselves from the case, because they were on the statewide canvassing board and could not be in the position of essentially ruling on their own earlier conclusion about the election.
Today's decision does not order the governor to act, but it says Al Franken "is entitled" under state law "to receive the certificate of election." The court put the legal effect of its ruling on hold for 10 days -- time enough for Coleman to seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Many legal scholars agree, however, that it's nearly a certainty that the U.S. Supreme Court will stay out of this. It was one thing for the court to take up the Florida election challenge in 2000, because that involved the presidential election. No such pressing national concern is present here, and there's every reason to think Coleman received fair consideration from the Minnesota courts.