Republican Norm Coleman’s dwindling chances of reclaiming his U.S. Senate seat largely depend on a broad reading of the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore decision, a ruling the court itself said should be applied sparingly.
Coleman’s remaining legal avenues include his claim that election officials violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause by using varying standards to decide the validity of absentee ballots. That contention relies on Bush v. Gore, the 5-4 ruling that sealed the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush.
Winning with that argument won’t be easy. When the Supreme Court ruled for Bush over Democrat Al Gore on Dec. 12, 2000, the five justices in the majority went out of their way to caution against application of the decision in other contexts.
“Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities,” the majority said.