What if the court doesn’t direct Pawlenty to sign the election certificate?

There has been plenty of ink spilled about Gov. Pawlenty’s statement yesterday that he was prepared to sign an election certificate declaring the winner in Minnesota’s long-running U.S. Senate race provided he gets direction from the court. During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Pawlenty said he would sign the certificate if the court required it:

“I’m not going to defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty was careful to use the “direction of the court” caveat every time he said he would sign the certificate. I followed up with Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung today to find out what Pawlenty would do if the court didn’t direct him to sign the certificate. Here’s McClung’s response:

“That’s a decision that would be made at that time. Governor Pawlenty has said that he would follow the determinations of the courts, including the federal courts if an appeal was made and a stay was issued.”

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