THE LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE ENDS…. After nearly eight months of legal wrangling, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) has conceded last year’s election, thus ending one of the longest Senate election fights in American history.

Coleman was under pressure from party leaders in Washington to keep his legal fight going indefinitely, taking his case to the federal courts, but after a unanimous defeat at the Minnesota Supreme Court today, Coleman apparently saw no upside to dragging this fiasco out any further.

Coleman said that further litigation would damage the state, and congratulated Sen.-elect Franken on his victory. He said his future plans in politics “are a subject for another day.”

The matter, then, is resolved. Lingering questions about Republican filibusters and gubernatorial certifications are now moot, and the 2008 election cycle is complete — just a little later than expected. (Coleman added this afternoon that he’s made Pawlenty’s life “a little bit easier.”)

Congratulations, Senator Elect Al Franken (D). The chamber’s newest member will reportedly hold a press conference in about an hour.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.