The panel also rejected Franken's attempt to limit any court review to verifying math and other technicalities of the recount and canvass, clearing the way for the judges to consider Coleman claims that some votes in Democratic areas were counted twice, that some absentee ballots from GOP areas were wrongly rejected and that there were other irregularities.
The panel noted that the Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled that while those claims shouldn't be decided during the recount, they "would be properly heard in an election contest" in court.
Coleman lawyer Ben Ginsberg called the panel's decision "a stinging defeat for Al Franken. It underscores that the Coleman contest will proceed, that there will be a trial."It appeared that Franken pulled out all of the stops in order to win the seat. These included shady performances and all the lawyering a man can buy. But the best candidate may just win, after all.