St. Paul, MN (January 9, 2020) -- Just hours after hearing oral arguments today, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied the petition of De La Fuente v. Simon. In October, the state Republican Party denied De La Fuente from appearing on Minnesota’s ballots as the only challenger to President Trump. The petition requested the state Supreme Court order Minnesota Secretary Of State Steve Simon to print De La Fuente’s name on the ballots of the Minnesota presidential primary being held on March 3, 2020. De La Fuente’s co-petitioner, Jim Martin, desires to cast a vote for Republican presidential candidate De La Fuente but is being prevented from doing so.
The Secretary argued a write-in option is available to Martin, who responded, “I’d like to vote for him any way I can. The write-in line will be available, but the Republican Party is not required to tell me what names I can write-in until about a month after I cast my ballot. So when I vote, I don’t know if my vote will even be counted.” Martin is an absentee voter, who is expected to cast his ballot next week. But, the GOP is not required to remit information on who Martin may write-in until the last week of February.
The Minnesota Supreme Court issued its order denying De La Fuente’s petition stating the claims lacked legal merit. However, the high court did not immediately issue its opinion “so as to not impair the orderly election process.” The Supreme Court will explain its rational in denying the petition at a later, undisclosed date.
“Our state is spending millions of our tax dollars to ask us to decide from the candidates seeking our support who we feel best represents our political views,” says Martin, “but no question is asked if there is a single candidate so we are literally being forced to pay for nothing. There is no way for the national Republican Party to be able to associate with its candidates, like Rocky, if the Republican Party Of Minnesota is allowed to sever that relationship. Chief Justice Warren Burger said it best when he spoke for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974 saying ‘the right to vote is heavily burdened if that vote may be cast only for one of two candidates in a primary election at a time when other candidates are clamoring for a place on the ballot. … The point, of course, is that ballot access must be genuinely open to all.’ But, in this case, the ballot is being rigged by displaying only one candidate so my right to vote isn’t just being heavily burdened, it’s being completely stripped from me. And, Rocky is not being given an opportunity to ‘clamor’ for a place on my ballot, so there is no way for us Republicans to send delegates to the national convention supporting a candidate like Rocky who actually represents the Republican ideal. For the first time in over 160-years, access to Minnesota’s ballots by fully qualified candidates is closed.”
When asked about the decision, De La Fuente simply responded: “Bad day for America.”
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Jim Martin, 651-206-8663
Erick Kaardal, 612-465-0927
Ch. J. Burger’s quote obtained from Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709.