A three-judge state panel convened to review an election contest brought by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in his race against entertainer Al Franken (D) has dealt the Republican a serious setback in its ruling this afternoon.
The panel will allow the consideration of only 400 wrongly rejected absentee ballots to be reviewed and possibly counted -- making it very difficult for Coleman to make up the 225-vote deficit he currently carries. (Here's the full ruling.)
"We feel pretty good about where we stand," said Marc Elias, a lawyer for Franken's campaign, on a conference call conducted moments ago. "This court has spoken clearly about the legal standards are" for the inclusion of ballots.
by: Chris Cillizza