MN Supreme Court Asks If It Is Too Late To Remove Trump From MN Ballot

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Democrats are asking Minnesota’s Supreme Court to remove Donald Trump from the Minnesota ballot because Republicans didn’t follow state law. Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party Chair Ken Martin filed the legal challenge late on Thursday.

UPDATE: Minnesota’s Supreme Court ordered all parties to respond to the suit by 4:30pm Friday. The court wants the Secretary of State to know how much time the court has to decide the case before the ballots must be printed. It wants the DFL to explain why the case shouldn’t be dismissed because of the lateness of the filing (a concept known as laches), and the Republican party to explain why the DFL’s suit may be too late.

In response, the Secretary of State says a decision on the case must be made by September 12 to allow for the ballots to be printed. The DFL response basically says laches does not apply in this case and it should go forward. The brief filed on Friday says the DFL could not act until the GOP filed its candidates on August 25. The Republican party said laches does apply and the case should be tossed out. It also says that placing candidates names on the ballot and choosing presidential electors are independent from each other under state law.

Martin alleges Minnesota Republicans did not follow correct procedure in selecting alternate presidential electors for Donald Trump — something the party failed to do before it adjourned its two-day convention in Duluth on May 21. The entire convention was live streamed by The UpTake and can be seen here.

Republican Party Chair Keith Downey later filed a slate of names of presidential electors and alternates with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Martin says the alternates were selected by the Republican executive committee on August 24 and not the state convention. Martin says that violates state law that requires “delegate conventions” to choose the alternates.

“It is apparent that clear errors occurred in the Republican process of selecting alternative electors for getting Donald Trump on the Minnesota ballot,” said Martin in a press release. “It is incumbent upon political parties to follow the rules binding our elections and in this instance it does not appear that the Minnesota Republican Party did so.”

Martin is asking that Trump’s and running mate Michael Pence’s names be removed from the November general election ballot. If that were to happen, it could severely depress Republican voter turnout — which could impact congressional and legislative races.

“Donald Trump got on our ballot fair and square” said Downey in a press release on Friday accusing the DFL of trying to “rig the election.” “It appears Minnesota Democrats are very worried. In the end the Clinton machine’s blatant and frivolous attempt to disenfranchise so many Minnesota voters will backfire – it’s everything that people see wrong with politics.”

One of the lawyers on the case is no stranger to high-stakes election-related court battles in Minnesota. Marc Elias was one of the lawyers for Al Franken during his court battle with Norm Coleman over the 2008 U.S. Senate race election. One of the other lawyers on the Franken team may also be a player in this drama. David Lillehaug is now an Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In response to reporter questions, Elias tweeted on Thursday night the case should pose no conflict of interest problems for Lillehaug. “It’s been five years since we worked together –and in a very different case. No conflict issue.”

Court documents and exhibits.

MN Republican Presidential Electors and Alternates

Petition to remove Donald Trump from the Minnesota Ballot

Order – Secretary of State, GOP, DFL asked to respond by 4:30pm Friday

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

9 thoughts on “MN Supreme Court Asks If It Is Too Late To Remove Trump From MN Ballot

  1. What a mess! I’m beginning to think that the election should be deferred until all of the court cases and IRS audits are completed, and leave the current government in place until then. Would that be any more silly than what is already going on?

  2. I hope the DFL succeeds in its effort to remove Donald Trump from the ballot. Here is why…It will create a huge backlash against the DFL. Trump never stood a chance of taking Minnesota to begin with.

  3. This is just another example for many of us who are disgusted with the state of our political and judicial processes. When will politicians and their minions at all levels start acting with integrity, common sense, and in the best interest of the citizenry they represent? Do we really believe that a error caused by apparent oversight or an incomplete understanding of the relevant statutes can be allowed to disenfranchise a significant percentage of Minnesota’s voters? Was there willful intent at play here? If the judge decides that there is merit based on the facts, What is the remedy? Petitioner asks for total disqualification for the Republican candidates due to this error. Is this reasonable? I say emphatically “NO”. It’ll be interesting to see what others will say.

  4. It seems that the Clinton Machine is worried and will try to do anything that they can, to make sure Hillary will win, by hook or by crook!

  5. This is the most corrupt thing I have ever heard of. The DFL should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. And Trump won’t win the election either if his Minnesota vote are lost and Hillary’s isn’t. That’s a lot of votes in both cases!