The three-judge court panel’s ruling today (March 31) that will have officials reviewing some 400 absentee ballots next Tuesday (April 7) at 9:30 a.m. at the Judicial Center — those the court deems legally cast will be opened — drew biting words and indications of a high court appeal from Coleman campaign attorney Ben Ginsberg.
Ginsberg styled the court ruling as an almost April Fool’s Day ruling and explained that if the court did not change its principles in regard to the selection of ballots, the Coleman campaign would appeal the panel’s ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Ginsberg would not comment on whether the Coleman campaign would take its case into the federal courts.
“We are disappointed,” he said of today’s court ruling.
“We feel the court is wrong. And we will appeal,” said Ginsberg.
The Coleman campaign has argued that the panel needed to consider a much larger universe of absentee ballots than the 400 ordered to be delivered to the court — some 5,000.
Ginsberg opined that the three-judge panel’s ruling showed them operating in a “parallel universe.”
Asked whether Norm Coleman could win election, surpass Al Franken’s 225 voter lead, Ginsberg indicated that there was still an iota of hope.
“You never give up hope but it becomes a much longer shot,” he said.
Franken campaign lead attorney Marc Elias expressed satisfaction with today’s ruling.
“We are quite pleased with the court’s order issued today,” he said. “Obviously we feel pretty good where we stand,” said Elias.
Elias opined that the three-judge panel had been meticulous in their examination — he alluded to a comment by the judges in their ruling of court evidence that if stacked would tower more than 20 feet high.
The Franken attorney also suggested that the court would not open all 400 of the requested ballots, but a subset.
Elias indicated that Coleman faced long odds at winning.
“The math is the math,” he said.
Elias noted that the campaigns, just as during the state canvassing board process, should have the right to challenge a decision on a ballot by the court.
But he indicated the that the odds of the Franken campaign challenging ballots next Tuesday is small.