Democrats still might seat Franken, Coleman is locked out


Senate Democrats still aren't ruling out options to seat Al Franken in the Senate before the Norm Coleman's legal battle is over and the election is official. The Franken seating controversy has been closely compared to the drama out of Illinois, where Roland Burris is still trying to be seated in President-elect Barack Obama's former spot.

Could we have a sitting Minnesota senator who doesn't even have the official documents from the state? Coleman, on the other hand, has been openly kicked out of the Senate after his job ended this weekend. He's locked out of his office, but has still been spotted wandering the halls giving fist bumps to fellow Republicans. Living the dream, super senior style.

More from Politico:

"People have gotten the certificate thing messed up," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. "State of Illinois is an appointment. State of Minnesota is an election. Two different things."

How long Franken will be in limbo is unclear, and Democrats have called on Coleman to concede and drop his pending litigation. If it drags on, Democrats are signaling they may move ahead.

When asked whether he would seat Franken before the litigation is resolved, Reid said: "We're going to be very patient and not rush through it."

But Reid made clear to Politico in an interview earlier this week that he would not hesitate to send the Franken-Coleman case to the Rules and Administration Committee, which handles election disputes. Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the hard-nosed Democratic partisan, will soon assume the chairmanship of that panel, but refused to comment Thursday.

Politco also had some funny tidbits on Coleman's adventures in Washington as a former Senator. He doesn't seem to want his buddies to forget about him.

Coleman has been locked out of his offices in the Hart Senate Office Building and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who heads the Rules Committee, said she believes the doors will stay barred for the foreseeable future.

Because Coleman's first term officially ended Saturday at noon and he has not been certified the winner of the hotly contested Minnesota Senate race, he has lost his desk on the Senate floor and been denied official office space.

And the most hilarious part: "We encountered a disconsolate-looking Coleman near a Senate elevator bank accepting back-slaps and handshakes from fellow Republicans John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)."