March 31st, 2009
05:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Minnesota court gives Franken good news

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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."

Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Rob

    ...And America bad news.

    March 31, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    Hey Cornyn, get ready to welcome your new colleague.

    March 31, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. No Incumbents 2010

    Good news for Franken- Bad news for Minnesota.

    March 31, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. arithmetic is liberal

    ...and with that, according to Minnesota state law,

    Al Franken is now the junion Senator from Minnesota.

    March 31, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Mobius

    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.

    March 31, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. thomas

    How long are Reps going to drag out this siiliness?Minn. should get some backbone and declare Franken winner-as he clearly is.

    March 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. alvino

    Give it up Norm, you lost fair and square.

    March 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. John

    Republicans: Prepare to eat some crow.

    bon apetite, thugs.

    March 31, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Clown in the Senate

    Another clown in the US Senate–just what we need!

    March 31, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. arithmetic is liberal

    First NY20, now this?

    Michael Steele is having a very bad day.

    March 31, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Enlightened Voter

    Franken should have been seated. coleman is a typical rethuglican – doesn't abide by the rules, could care less about his constituents

    March 31, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Mike

    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!

    March 31, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Bill in VT

    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.

    March 31, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. John, College Park, MD

    Minnesota is a joke. First Franken.

    March 31, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    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.

    March 31, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Mississippi Mike

    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.

    March 31, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. ObamaShrugged

    I think I would take him over what I'm stuck with – Kerry, Kennedy, & Frank – the founders of the Socialist Republic of America.

    March 31, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |