Minneapolis, MN (November 9, 2020) -- On Thursday, November 5, 2020, the United States Supreme Court docketed the petition made by Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and James Martin seeking review of Minnesota presidential primary election law. The filing became public on the court’s website today. Now known as case number 20-612, De La Fuente and Martin have asked the United States Supreme Court to answer the following question:
“In the context of Minnesota’s taxpayer-funded, state-administered, and binding presidential nomination primary election, are Minnesota Statues repugnant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments when their operation fails to present all party-chosen candidates from appearing on the ballot in the same manner?”
As was upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court, De La Fuente was prevented from having his name printed on the primary election ballot. Though Martin could have written De La Fuente’s name on his ballot, any vote cast in that manner would not have advanced the election of delegates supportive of De La Fuente. To rectify this, an order was sought to move Minnesota Secretary Of State Steve Simon’s printing of De La Fuente’s name on the ballot. As it was putting Minnesota’s primary election in jeopardy, the case was expedited forcing an order to be quickly released with a full opinion issued after the election took place.
De La Fuente and Martin rely upon the Minnesota Supreme Court opinion in that, “(v)oters interest in a ballot that accurately identifies the candidates for whom a vote can be cast in the presidential nomination primary” is one that must be advanced, but “nothing in (the law) suggests that the State intends to ensure the fairness of (the ballot access) process” (modified for clarity). If this is true, the petition points-out that prohibiting De La Fuente from accessing the ballot “is antithetical to constitutional protections under both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
“I’m watching the same group of people do substantially the same thing to others as they did to me,” says Martin, “They are trying to prevent my neighbors in other states from having their vote be put in the pile for the candidate of that voter’s liking. Veterans Day is this week. Are you willing to fight, and possibly die, for this kind of soviet-style election where our votes do not accurately reflect our will? Are you willing let others stand in your place for that? I’m certainly not!”
Erick Kaardal of Minneapolis based Mohrman, Kaardal, & Erickson, P.A., who argued the original case for De La Fuente and Martin in the Minnesota Supreme Court, is bringing this petition forward. And, he is no stranger to practicing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Court’s records, this is his fifth filing in the nation’s highest court this month: Kaardal filed a petition (and a related motion) on behalf of the Pennsylvania Voters Alliance; a motion for injunctive relief on behalf of the Wisconsin Voters Alliance; and a similar motion for the Minnesota Voters Alliance. The earliest appearance of Kaardal’s firm in the online records of the Court is a case from 2001, the petition of which was granted. (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.)
The petition was served on the Attorney General of Minnesota, who represents Secretary Simon, and has until December 7, 2020, to respond.
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This release supplements the previous announcement on the matter to which the petition and appendix was attached. For that release and more information on this subject, please see https://www.votejimmartin.com/?p=1099.