St. Paul, MN (January 7, 2020) -- This Thursday, January 9, 2020, at 10 a.m., the Minnesota Supreme Court will be hearing the original arguments of De La Fuente v. Simon in the state’s prestigious Minnesota State Capitol Building Courtroom (75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. / St. Paul, MN 55155). Presenting the petition for Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and his co-petitioner James Martin will be Erick G. Kaardal of the Minneapolis based firm Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson, P.A. Responding to the petition for Minnesota Secretary Of State Steve Simon will be state Assistant Attorney General Nathan J. Hartshorn.
Upon entering the Capitol Building from the main South Doors, the Courtroom is found by ascending the East Stairwell located to the right of the Rotunda. Says Martin, “I’m looking forward to walking up the century old steps at the Minnesota Capitol and listening to the Supreme Court.” If attending, visitors must adhere to the rules of decorum. Recording (video and audio) as well as photography is prohibited unless prior consent of the Court is obtained (651-291-5297). Public media-related equipment must be completely setup 15-minutes before the Court starts its session. Visitors to the Court must remain seated when arguments are being made, and may enter and leave when the attorneys are approaching and leaving the podium.
The case challenges the law regarding how candidates’ names are placed on ballots in Minnesota’s tax-payer funded March 3, 2020, primary election. In October 2019, the Republican Chairwoman excluded De La Fuente’s name from being printed on Minnesota’s Super Tuesday ballots in preference to the printing of only President Trump. The petition seeks to order Secretary Simon to print De La Fuente’s name on the ballot thereby allowing Martin to be able to effectively cast his vote for De La Fuente. In an interview with Kare 11 about the January 9th argument, Kaardal said “we’re hoping to get a decision from Minnesota Supreme Court later that day.”
De La Fuente, who has been receiving press coverage in Minnesota on a weekly basis, is a fully qualified Republican Presidential candidate challenging Trump on ballots across the nation. In Illinois, reports Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune, De La Fuente is one of only two candidates challenging Trump. In other states like Delaware, De La Fuente is the only challenger appearing opposite Trump. He has appeared on Minnesota’s federal election ballots in the past, most recently in a 2018 Republican primary. And of all Trump’s competition, De La Fuente’s campaign has the most cash on hand; in fact, millions more than all of the other campaigns combined. Says De La Fuente, “It will be myself and Donald Trump on the ballot in most states. Voters WILL have a choice.”
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party submitted briefing to the Supreme Court. In a twist first reported by Brian Bakst of MPR News and later covered by Steven Montemayor of the Star Tribune, the DFL came to the rescue of the GOP by arguing the law “properly protects (Democrats’) right to determine who may associate with the Party by allowing the DFL Party Chair to determine which candidates will appear … on the Party’s primary ballot.” The ballots will have a write-in line, but no write-in vote can be counted as the chairs have not submitted any names eligible to be written-in. As first reported by Theo Keith of Fox 9, the Trump campaign dismisses Republican voters, like Martin, and Republican candidates, like De La Fuente, as “distractions and outside noise.” Martin responded, “So, we get to choose who best represents our political views by being prevented from doing so, and then are demeaned for not being able to do it? Sounds like what the Russians did to Alexei Navalny?”
On January 17th, Minnesotans will be the first in the entire country to be able to nominate a presidential candidate by way of absentee ballots. Martin says, “We’re the ones paying for the election to choose which candidate seeking to represent our groups’ political ideology will do it. If I can’t vote for Rocky, I’m disenfranchised from politically affiliating with the group of people who think like me, both here in Minnesota and those around the country. I’m confident the Court will order the Secretary to allow me to vote for the candidate who I believe best represents my group’s ideology. Next week, I’ll be one of the first people in the United States voting directly against President Trump by casting my vote for Roque ‘Rocky’ De La Fuente.”
# # #
Jim Martin, 651-206-8663
Erick Kaardal 612-465-0927