If you're wondering why this went on so long, the initial count was so close - with Coleman in the lead - that Minnesota law required a recount. Coleman suggested at the time that Franken should concede. The statutory recount put Franken ahead, and Coleman spent a lot of money and time going to court. Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com has had some interesting analysis of why Coleman's quest might have been worth it to him and the Republicans regardless of the outcome. And a friend tells me that if Coleman had pursued the matter into the federal courts, he could have gotten Justice Alito to hold the initial hearing.