Minneapolis, MN (October 29, 2020) -- Late yesterday afternoon, a petition and its appendix was sent to the United States Supreme Court seeking review of the Minnesota Supreme Court judgement denying a Republican presidential candidate from being printed on Minnesota’s primary ballots. The petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court filed by Erick Kaardal of Minneapolis based Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson, P.A., the deadline for which is today, asserts the highest court in Minnesota errored when it determined delegates supportive of presidential Republican Party candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente were not eligible to be chosen by Minnesota voters to be sent to the Republican National Convention; instead, only delegates supportive of the incumbent President Trump were eligible to be elected.
One year ago, Minnesota Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan made a filing that denied De La Fuente’s name from appearing on Minnesota’s primary ballots. As pointed out by De La Fuente’s co-petitioner, James Martin, last year on his website, $50,130 was filtered down into the bank account of Carnahan’s party unit from President Trump’s PAC just weeks before she made her filing. A couple days after the filing that named Trump as voters’ only option, her political unit received another $42,430.
In December 2019, De La Fuente and Martin asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to print De La Fuente’s name on Minnesota’s primary ballots for the March 2020 primary election so Martin could cast a vote to elect delegates supportive of De La Fuente. Less than a month later, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments presented by Kaardal, but denied the request later that night on January 9, 2020. After the election took place in March, 2020, the highest court in Minnesota issued its opinion and entered a judgement against De La Fuente and Martin. It determined De La Fuente had no right to be on the primary ballot because he was not chosen by the Minnesota Republican Party to appear in the primary election; and Martin could not advance the election of delegates supportive of De La Fuente because he was not a party-chosen candidate.
“Oddly, the Minnesota Supreme Court acknowledged the Minnesota Republican Party chose De La Fuente as one of its candidates,” the petition points out to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing a letter from the Republican Party Of Minnesota to the Minnesota Secretary Of State Steve Simon, “Since the court relied upon such a relationship not existing, why the state court did not reverse its order when it was made known that De La Fuente was, in fact, a party-chosen candidate is puzzling and inconsistent with the court’s reasoning.” The petition identifies this reasoning by quoting the Minnesota Supreme Court in that voters must be provided “a ballot that accurately identifies the candidates for whom a vote can be cast in [Minnesota’s] presidential nomination primary” and that “nothing in [the Minnesota’s Statutes] suggests that the State intends to ensure the fairness of that process.” To that end, the U.S. Supreme Court is asked to consider that, “If the Minnesota Supreme Court is correct in its opinion that the statutes at issue do nothing to ensure the fairness of the process … the statute inherently violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement that Minnesota’s presidential nomination primary election be conducted fairly. Hence, the Petitioners claims succeed on the face of the statutes at issue and the Minnesota Supreme Courts own admissions.”
The petition continues by demonstrating how the Republican Party Of Minnesota was unable to effectively present its candidates to the voting public because Minnesota law authorized Chairwoman Carnahan to “conceal” De La Fuente from the March election ballot. It also points out that non-binding case law was relied upon when relevant case law existed within Minnesota’s Federal Circuit, and that important questions of federal law were decided that conflict with findings of the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition further implies that Minnesota’s delegation sent to the Electoral College is at risk of putting a “frivolous or fraudulent” major political party nominee into the White House if Minnesota Law allowing legitimate party-chosen candidates to be “concealed” is allowed to stand.
“Both before and when I received my ballot,” says Martin, “I had absolutely no idea what I needed to do in order to advance the election of delegates supportive of Rocky’s nomination at the national convention. But, every single voter in Minnesota who received an identical ballot was given crystal clear instruction how to advance the nomination of Rocky’s competition. This isn’t equal treatment guaranteed by the United States Constitution. It’s a blatant and outright rigging of the primary election that my tax dollars paid for. The whole thing is eerily reminiscent of the Russian election commission preventing Putin’s opposition from accessing the ballot, like what’s happened to Alexei Navalny over this past decade. What’s happening here is that we are being stripped of our ability to cast an effective ballot.” The petition outlines this very idea: “Ultimately, the consequence is untenable. The Minnesota Supreme Court has determined that it is permissible to instruct some voters how to cast a ballot so that it will advance the election of delegates supportive of the party-chosen candidate of that voter’s liking while at the same time denying instructions to other voters who wish to advance the election of delegates supportive of a competing party-chosen candidate; and in so doing, permits the casting of ballots that do not accurately reflect the party-chosen pool of candidates. What is lost is the right to cast an effective ballot [which the United States Supreme Court points out] is derived from … multiple rights … and is the most precious freedom voters can and ever will exercise.”
Minnesota’s Office of the Attorney General, who represented Secretary Simon in the Minnesota Supreme Court, was served in the appeal, and has an opportunity to respond before the United States Supreme Court decides whether or not to review the judgement against De La Fuente and Martin. According to the United States Courts, 4,194 petitions for a writ of certiorari were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in its October 2018 term of which only 86, or just over 2%, were granted.