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Editorial: Coleman appeal to top court is okay

A three-judge panel ruled Monday against Norm Coleman's state-court lawsuit in the U.S. Senate race. The court declared Al Franken as the election winner.

Now citizens, pundits and newspapers are weighing in on what the former senator should do in his next step in Minnesota election marathon.

The recommendations are varied, but do fall in three basic categories.

- Concede the race now to Al Franken.

- Appeal to Minnesota Supreme Court, then concede if he loses that appeal.

- If he loses his Minnesota Supreme Court appeal, take his appeal on to federal courts.

For the sake of full disclosure, this newspaper endorsed Coleman prior to the November election.

Coleman is expected to file an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has every right under the Minnesota law to file this appeal.

We believe he will and should file his appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court to decide this state issue.

The basis of the Coleman appeal is that 4,400 unopened and rejected absentee ballots need to be counted. He claims that equal protection under the U.S. Constitution requires that these ballots be counted. The three-judge panel dismissed Coleman's argument.

If the Minnesota Supreme Court makes a similar decision and dismisses Coleman's appeal, the former senator has a decision to make. If this happens, then Coleman should concede this race to Franken.

This would be the perfect time for Coleman to show true leadership and put Minnesota first before his own political fortunes.

If Coleman takes his appeal to federal court, he will be putting his personal interests ahead Minnesota's 5.1 million citizens right to full representation in the U.S. Senate.

Going federal would be a bad move on Coleman's part.