SNL vet Al Franken may have won the Minnesota Senate race after a contentious recount, but that does not mean he will get to take his new seat when the other Senators are sworn in Tuesday (Jan. 6).
, Senator John Cornwyn (R-TX), chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee disagrees, and warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) not to try to swear Franken in.
"The rules of the U.S. Senate state very clearly that any new Senator must present a certificate of election or appointment signed by both his/her home state Governor and Secretary of State," said Cornwyn late Monday. "In fact, this is the very rule Senator Reid’s office has publicly cited in refusing to seat Mr. [Roland] Burris from Illinois (the choice of embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who has vowed to show up Tuesday to be sworn in).
“Further, the laws of the State of Minnesota state that no certificate can be awarded until all legal challenges are resolved, which is far from the case currently in the Minnesota Senate race," said Cornwyn. Norm Coleman, who lost the election by 225 votes, has said he is challenging the result. Coleman had the most votes at the end of the general election, but the paper-thin margin triggered an automatic recount.
Cornwyn's warning came after reports Reid would try to seat Franken. Cornwyn said he hoped Reid did not try to seat Franken, saying it would send the message that "rules and laws can be ignored" and vowing that "Republicans will stand in the ay of his desire to play kingmaker."