MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Perhaps laying the groundwork for an appeal to a higher court, Republican Norm Coleman’s attorneys are beginning to publicly question the three-judge panel presiding over his post-election legal battle, saying Wednesday that the judges are creating a "real problem” by not reconsidering their ruling from Friday that put a damper on much of Coleman’s case over rejected absentee ballots.
“The court creates a real problem for itself and the reliability of these proceedings,” said Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg, adding that it could create a “legal quagmire that makes ascertaining a final, legitimate result to this election even more difficult.”
Coleman’s attorneys maintain the judges’ Friday order that threw out certain rejected absentee ballots and ruled them unlawfully cast due to certain errors fails to account for “thousands” of absentee ballots that could have been accepted while still containing the same errors.
According to Ginsberg, “illegally cast ballots under their definition are included in the counts.”
The types of ballots ruled taboo by the judges include categories of absentee ballots submitted by non-registered voters, absentee ballots inside a return envelope not signed by the voter or absentee ballot applications that were not signed, and absentee ballots that were dropped off in person on election day.
Ginsberg said that about 100 ballots allowed in to the count during the recount process would have fallen under the new outlawed categories.
The Coleman campaign’s press release does not say whether or not they are currently pursuing other legal avenues or setting up an appeal.
Asked if that were the case, Coleman spokesman Mark Drake said only, "We're concentrating on the 3-judge panel and hoping they cure the defect they've created.”
A spokeswoman for Democrat Al Franken Jess McIntosh said Coleman's lawyers are "denegrating" Minnesota's election process "in order to set up their appeal."
Franken held a slight lead of 225 votes after the recount was completed. The trial is now in its fourth week of testimony with no apparent timetable for a speedy conclusion.