[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/31/art.frankengi.jpg caption="Franken holds a 225 vote lead over Coleman."](CNN) - A Minnesota court Tuesday ordered the review of 400 absentee ballots in that state's still-disputed Senate race, a number that falls far short of the 1,300 absentee ballots Republican Norm Coleman says need to be counted.
The three-judge panel's ruling is a break for Democrat Al Franken, who currently holds a 225 vote lead over Coleman. Given the former SNL comedian's current lead, Coleman needs to capture nearly 80 percent of the 400 absentee ballots to erase his vote deficit.
The panel and officials from the Secretary of State's office will convene Tuesday, April 7 and open the ballots in open court.
Franken lawyer Marc Elias said he was "very pleased" with the order and felt fairly confident they would still remain on top.
Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg said he was "disappointed" with the order and said the court was "wrong." He added they are more than likely to lose at the trial level and will appeal.
"It is pretty much of a long shot with that few ballots being put in play," Ginsberg said of their chances given the pool of only 400 votes that will be considered.
"The math is going to be very difficult for former Sen. Coleman and his legal team at this point."
...And America bad news.
Hey Cornyn, get ready to welcome your new colleague.
Good news for Franken- Bad news for Minnesota.
...and with that, according to Minnesota state law,
Al Franken is now the junion Senator from Minnesota.
With luck we'll have a Senator by the time it's too late for EITHER of them to damage MN's reputation nationally.....too much, anyway.
How long are Reps going to drag out this siiliness?Minn. should get some backbone and declare Franken winner-as he clearly is.
Give it up Norm, you lost fair and square.
Republicans: Prepare to eat some crow.
bon apetite, thugs.
Another clown in the US Senate–just what we need!
First NY20, now this?
Michael Steele is having a very bad day.
Franken should have been seated. coleman is a typical rethuglican – doesn't abide by the rules, could care less about his constituents
I live in MN we are SCREWED now! Man he is such a joke! we will be worse off than if Jesse ran and won again!
Good news for Minnesota. Like Bemidji state in the Frozen Four, good things happen to those who work hard. Al is smart. He can cancel out Bachmann.
Minnesota is a joke. First Ventura...now Franken.
I Know this doesn't have anything to do with MN,AL Fraken, or norm ,
but has anyone notice how Quite the Republicans have been on GM,
and Chrysler? what are they going to say ? MR President please give more money to the auto companies.
The courts shouldn't decide elections, voters should. Coleman won on election night. The only way Franken will win is if ballots that are not valid are counted, it's a really sad day when our electoral system sags to this level.
I think I would take him over what I'm stuck with – Kerry, Kennedy, & Frank – the founders of the Socialist Republic of America.