(CNN) - Nearly seven months after Election Day, the battle between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken for a U.S. Senate seat from Minnesota heads to the state's Supreme Court.
But an eventual ruling by Minnesota's top court may not bring an end to one of the nation's longest-running election disputes in decades.
The justices on the state's highest court will hear arguments today on whether problems counting absentee ballots justify the reversal of a lower state court ruling that declared Franken, the former comedian and progressive radio talk show host, the winner by 312 votes over Coleman, the freshman senator whose term expired at the beginning of the year.
Coleman was ahead after election day on November 4, but he led Franken by just over 200 votes out of the nearly three million cast. That triggered an automatic recount. When that process was completed at the beginning of the year, it indicated that Franken led by a similar number of votes.
The Coleman camp quickly appealed that ruling to the state legal system.
Coleman wants the court to order that more than 4,000 absentee ballots that were rejected be counted.
A ruling in favor of Coleman won't put him back in the Senate seat he used to hold, but it would extend his battle. Even if the court rules against him, Coleman could take his case to the federal courts, or even petition the U.S. Supreme Court.
A Franken victory could persuade the state's governor, a Republican, and the state's Secretary of State, a Democrat, to sign a certificate of election, which would allow Franken to take office.
The court could take weeks to decide.
"I would hope within a month or so we will get a decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court, and that this will be resolved," Amy Klobuchar, currently Minnesota's only senator, told CNN's John King on State of the Union on Sunday.
The battle has national implications. If seated, Franken would become the Democrat's 60th vote in the chamber, giving the party a filibuster-proof majority - and denying Republicans the ability to single-handedly block legislation or nomination votes.