Specifically, the court shot down the Coleman campaign's claim that absentee voting in Minnesota should be regarded as a right, rather than a privilege, and that the four specific reasons for rejecting an absentee ballot are clear and fully binding: "A citizen who exercises this privilege can register and vote, by the terms of the law, only by complying with provisions."
The court also rejected the Coleman camp's comparison of this case to Bush v. Gore, and their invocation of an equal protection argument in the unequal treatment of absentee ballots by individual election officials across the state. In fact, the court said, the standards are clear and objective.
The practical effect of this finding is that it ensures a higher burden of proof for demonstrating that an absentee was wrongly excluded, rather than the much lighter substantial compliance standard that Coleman wanted to use.
On a conference call with reporters tonight, lead Franken lawyer Marc Elias was quite understandably happy with this decision. "The court has to presume, absent any evidence that the election officials acted lawfully," Elias said, adding that the Coleman team now "have to meet their burden to show that a given ballot was not treated properly by this official."
Although it doesn't guarantee that any votes will or won't be counted, we can safely predict one thing: This is going to take a long time.
Late Update: The ruling is available here.