The Instigator
abard124
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
lordjosh
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Al Franken should be issued an interim election certificate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,005 times Debate No: 7306
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

abard124

Pro

I do not live in Minnesota. I have never been to Minnesota. I don't even think Al Franken is that funny.
Federal law provides that every state is represented by 2 senators (U.S. constitution, article 1, section 3).
Apparently (although I couldn't for the life of me find it), Minnesota law calls for no certificate rewarded until the election process is through.
However, in article 6 of the U.S. constitution, it states, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, ANYTHING IN THE CONSTITUTION OR LAWS OF ANY STATE TO THE CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING."
Let me translate that into modern English. "This constitution, and the laws of the United states, and all U.S. treaties are law for everyone. The judges in the states must prosecute by these laws, as well as the state laws. WHEN THE STATE LAW CONTRADICTS FEDERAL LAW, FEDERAL LAW WINS."
The U.S. constitution calls for 2 senators from each state. Amy Klobuchar is only one person. Even if the day Al Franken is awarded an interim election certificate, Norm Coleman ends up winning the case, they can rescind Franken's certificate, but the point is that Al Franken is the clear leader at this moment, and Minnesota needs a second senator, even if they are interim. Al Franken deserves an interim election certificate.
lordjosh

Con

Thank you, arbard124.

Minnesota should have two representatives in the Senate. Sen. Norm Coleman won the election by a small margin which, by state law, requires a recount. Challenger Al Franken now leads with 225 votes. However, Coleman has won some court battles that challenged the manner in which some ballots have been counted, or not. Now Coleman has asked the court to "set aside" the election, building the case that to many discrepancies in the way ballots were treated created to many illegal votes, tainting the results to a point of "no confidence" in the tally.[1]

My opponent's first argument is that the US Constitution requires Minnesota to seat two senators. I do not contend that it could be interpreted that, when Congress is in session, the Senate seats shall be occupied. So, I'll leave it at that with one off topic question. Could we build the case that all the legislation passed by this Congress thus far is unconstitutional due to Minnesota's lack of representation?

My opponents conclusion is that, because "Al Franken is the clear leader at this moment", that Minnesota should fulfill it's constitutional duties and seat the challenger. I find this conclusion illogical in light of the facts;

1. Norm Coleman held the seat and was elected without contention in the previous term.

2. Al Franken has not won any election.

3. Norm Coleman won this election. Although it has triggered a recount, that process is not complete. Al Franken has won nothing.

Amendment XVII of the Constitution requires that in the case of vacancies, the governor may appoint an interim senator until someone is selected by the people in a manner in which the state legislature may proscribe. This is a vacancy due to the process of an election. The people's selection is yet to be determined, pursuant to state law. Therefore it should be the governor's responsibility to fill this vacancy.

In light of the facts enumerated above, the governor of Minnesota should seat Norm Coleman as Senator until the process is seen through.

notes:

[1]http://news.aol.com...
Debate Round No. 1
abard124

Pro

First off, you made a very good argument. There were just a few holes, though.
Your first argument, that it is too close to call, technically that is true. However, the state needs two senators, and whoever is in the lead, even if it changes every day, should be the senator until they lose the lead. As it happened, since before the senate convened, Al Franken has had the lead. Should Norm Coleman gain the lead, he should get the seat.
Your second argument (that my first argument doesn't hold up) was fairly weak, as you didn't really make your point. Of course not every seat has to be filled. Rarely is there a vote where there is no one absent. However, what the law means is that roll call in the senate should include 2 senators from each state. Your "off topic question" is just slightly off the deep end. I hear what you are saying and trying to convey, but, as I said, senators are allowed to be absent.
Your third argument (that mine is illogical) makes a little sense, but it is actually quite a bit off topic.
1. Norm Coleman's previous term has expired, putting them at the exact same level. His previous term means nothing.
2. We're not arguing whether he won. He does, however, have a lead of 225 votes. If he loses that lead, the election certificate can be rescinded, unlike the presidential election of 2000.
3. Norm Coleman has won nothing. Al Franken won nothing either. Franken just happens to have the lead.
You might want to read Amendment XVII a bit more carefully. Yes, it does say that the governor may appoint a senator under certain circumstances. "When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct." What that is saying is that Governor Pawlenty would be able to appoint Norm Coleman temporarily, should the Minnesota state legislature say he can. However, since Governor Pawlenty, as well as Norm Coleman, are Republicans, and both houses of the Minnesota State legislature are strongly Democratic-Farmer-Labor controlled, it isn't likely that they would allow for that. Besides, that part was mostly meant for other things, such as if Senator Klochubar was unable to perform her duties, Governor Pawlenty would nominate a replacement.
You make a good argument, but the bottom line is that the constitution calls for Al Franken to be the senator until this is sorted out.
lordjosh

Con

Thank you, Abard124, for your complements.

The first paragraph of my first round argument, which I believe you refer to as my first argument('to close to call"), was not an argument at all. I just gave a few facts surrounding the issue we are discussing. I have not made the argument that it's to close to call. I only pointed out the fact that Coleman won the election by a very small margin which triggered the recount under Minnesota state law.

I gave three reasons why I believe Norm Coleman should be seated until the election is certified.

1. Norm Coleman held the seat and was elected without contention in the previous term.

2. Al Franken has not won any election.

3. Norm Coleman won this election. Although it has triggered a recount, that process is not complete. Al Franken has won nothing.

I will take my opponents rebuttals one by one.

>1.Norm Coleman's previous term has expired, putting them at the exact same level. His previous term means nothing.<

Al Franken has never been elected. Franken was challenging Coleman for the seat. Yes, technically the term is over, however, it does not make sense to allow the challenger to hold the seat when he has won nothing. Franken lost the election count and the recount is not over. Coleman was the Senator and he won the election. If one of these two men needed to be seated until the recount is completed, it would only make sense to seat Coleman.

>2. We're not arguing whether he won. He does, however, have a lead of 225 votes. If he loses that lead, the election certificate can be rescinded, (unlike the presidential election of 2000[1]).<

As Pro suggested earlier in his second argument, "even if it changes every day", whoever gains the lead in the recount, goes to the senate. This obviously is counterproductive and would cause more problems than if the seat just stayed empty.

>3. Norm Coleman has won nothing. Al Franken won nothing either. Franken just happens to have the lead.<

Coleman won the election. Franken is in the lead in the recount but the recount is not complete. Franken has won nothing.

I agree with you that the state state legislature must give the governor authority to seat an interim senator and that would be unlikely for the reasons you have stated. However, that puts this argument into scope, does it not? Your contention is that the first article of the US Constitution requires the state of Minnesota to seat two senators. So, by that interpretation, the Minnesota legislature is require to give the governor authority to choose an interim senator. Yet, that is not what the XVII Article of Amendment says.

> "that the legislature of any state may empower the executive "<

"May" empower. You have dismantled your own legal argument.

This section of Amdt. XVII concerns "vacancies". I see no other pre qualifications in the section. Your assertion that "that part was mostly meant for other things", is not backed by the text of the amendment. This case, and this debate, is about a vacancy created by an election process that has yet to reach a conclusion. Nowhere in the Constitution, does it require state to fill a vacancy with the candidate who holds the lead in a recount process. States are not even required to have recount processes. If the state legislature gave the authority to choose an interim senator to the governor, the governor would not be obligated to choose either of the two candidates, never mind the challenger who lost the election. The legislature also "may" not give the governor the authority to choose an interim. This would mean the seat would stay vacant until an election was completed. Therefore it could not possibly be unconstitutional to leave the seat empty.

notes:

[1] Whoever bet 1/2 way through second round, won the pool.
Debate Round No. 2
abard124

Pro

First of all, allow me to apologize for taking so long to respond, I was very busy today.
You did make some very good arguments, and it will be a challenge to refute them, but I think I'm armed.

I will once again refute your arguments in chronological order.

1) I'm not quite sure what you are getting at there, because one term as senator is six years. No more, no less. Once Norm Coleman's term expired, he's done, unless he's reelected. Norm Coleman's previous term as a senator is 100% irrelevant. Your only point in this argument that holds any water is that Norm Coleman technically won the first count of the election. However, recounts nullify the original count, and Al Franken won the first recount. Right now, Norm Coleman is appealing for a second recount with a few more votes, and I expect nothing less. However, the point is, Al Franken won the most recent recount, which is the "final for now."

2) I will be the first to admit that my last argument had a few holes in it. this was one of them. Obviously it wouldn't work to have a new senator every day. I think I was most likely trying to get the point across that the most recent count should be regarded as truth.

3) I don't know where you get your facts, but the recount is absolutely complete. Don't believe me? Ask the associated press.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
Now, if I were Governor Pawlenty, I would pledge to nominate whoever won the most recent recount. But I'm not.
If I were a Minnesota state legislator (a democrat), I would vote for the governor to appoint someone. But I'm not.
Point being, the heavily democratically controlled state legislature would know that Governor Pawlenty would nominate the person from his party, not the winner of the last recount, so they most likely would vote against the nomination.
In regards to my argument, I still testify that really, nobody won anything, because winning entails an election certificate.

This has been an excellent debate, and I'd just like to "recall" a few points. The U.S. constitution calls for two senators from each state, and the U.S. constitution also states that it can override anything contradictory in a state constitution. Norm Coleman garnered more votes in the first count, and Al Franken in the second. I maintain that the most recent count should be regarded as the current total, and the judge should issue Al Franken an interim certificate until the second recount is completed, should it occur.
You made a great argument, and may the best man win (both the election and the debate, that is).
lordjosh

Con

lordjosh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by abard124 7 years ago
abard124
Congrats, Al!
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
**YET ANOTHER UPDATE**
Norm Coleman has 9 days to appeal to the state supreme court, otherwise, Franken wins.
If Coleman does appeal, Franken will still win, but Minnesota will be short a senator for even longer.
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
**MORE UPDATE**
Unless Norm Coleman appeals again, it is decided in Franken's favor, with Franken opening the biggest lead thus far.
If Norm Coleman appeals again, it is unlikely that his wish be granted, and even more unlikely that he wins.
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
**Update**
The election is most likely decided.
The Canvassing board is required to wait 7 days before announcing the results, though.
Posted by SchinkBR 8 years ago
SchinkBR
congrats on your niece
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
Congratulations!
That's certainly more important than an online debate.
Posted by lordjosh 8 years ago
lordjosh
Abard, I am sorry I forfeited the 3rd round. I have a new niece. Hailey Elizabeth. :)
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
I never thought he was funny...
But he's a democrat, so he has my support!
I appreciate your lack of political bias on this topic, though :-)
Posted by SchinkBR 8 years ago
SchinkBR
Ugh...i really hate Al Franken...no worries abard, I'll be fair about this though
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SchinkBR 8 years ago
SchinkBR
abard124lordjoshTied
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Vote Placed by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
abard124lordjoshTied
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