(CNN) -- Former Sen. Norm Coleman gave up his challenge to the November election results Tuesday, clearing the way for satirist Al Franken to take the state's remaining U.S. Senate seat.
Minnesota's Supreme Court ruled Democrat Al Franken the winner in the state's U.S. Senate race.
1 of 2 The court's unanimous, unsigned opinion declared that Franken "received the highest number of votes legally cast" and is entitled "to receive the certificate of election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota."
"I just congratulated Al Franken on his victory," Coleman said in a press conference with reporters. "I told him it's the best job he'll ever have representing Minnesota in the United States Senate. The Supreme Court has spoken, I will respect its decision, and abide by its results," Coleman also said.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie issued the following statement shortly after the announcement.
"I thank the Minnesota Supreme Court, the three-judge election contest panel, the State Canvassing Board, local election officials, and all campaign staff and volunteers for their extraordinary efforts in bringing this U.S. Senate election to its conclusion," Ritchie wrote. "This unanimous opinion of the Court affirms the accuracy and fairness of Minnesota's election laws and recount procedures. As required by Minnesota law, I will co-sign the election certificate as soon as it is issued by Gov. Tim Pawlenty."
The ruling brings an end to seven months of challenges by Coleman. Franken will likely become the 60th member of the Senate Democratic caucus, a move that gives the party a filibuster-proof majority in the chamber, at least on paper.
The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer declared victory in the disputed race after a recount ended in January, but Coleman, a Republican seeking a second six-year term, went to court to challenge those results.
Coleman led Franken on election night by a margin of 206 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast. The margin was narrow enough to trigger a recount, however, and that process ended in January with Franken leading by 225 votes.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, told CNN on Sunday that he would sign Franken's election certificate if the state Supreme Court declared him the winner.
Since winning the initial recount, Franken made a handful of visits to Washington and met with majority leader Harry Reid to discuss Senate business, according to Franken aides.
He also began hiring staff for a Senate office.
The burden all along was on Coleman to prove he was wronged. He appeared on local and national programs to try to make that argument several times.
He was also a regular fixture during the seven weeks of open court, often sitting at the table with his team of counselors and at other times sitting in the gallery with press.
In April, Franken said he was confident he would eventually be certified, and urged Coleman not to appeal and to "let me get to work as soon as possible."
"The campaign for this Senate seat has been long and expensive," he said then.
"The fight ahead, the fight to rebuild our economy and broken health care system and to restore our standing in the world, that's a fight we must win. It's a fight we must win by setting aside partisan gamesmanship and working together."