Saying the DFL waited to late to file it, the Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition to remove Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from the Minnesota ballot.
The DFL contended Republicans had not followed state law in choosing alternate presidential electors and Trump therefor had to be removed. The court did not rule on the content of the substance of the lawsuit. It rejected it because the DFL should have filed it sooner and early voting will start in just 11 days.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin who filed the petition with the court last week issued a statement:
We are disappointed with the result today but respect the Supreme Court’s decision. We believe that we are on strong legal ground and that if this case were heard we would prevail upon the merits, but certainly understand the tight timeline issues addressed by the Court.
This lawsuit was about the rule of law. Although the Republican Party and its standard bearer, Donald Trump, frequently talk about the rule of law, they consistently apply a double standard – making clear that everyone else should follow the rules but not them.
Despite very clear statutory guidance and frequent communication from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, the Republicans failed to properly follow the law which required them to elect both electors and alternate electors. It should not have been a surprise to either Donald Trump’s campaign nor the Minnesota Republican Party the steps they needed to take to ensure ballot access. If they can’t competently follow the rules and steps to properly get on the ballot, how does anyone expect them to run the country.
The remedy under the law is not ideal. However, it was the only relief we could seek to hold the Republican Party and Donald Trump accountable for their failure to follow the clear requirements for accessing the ballot. The Minnesota DFL, our elected officials, and candidates have always stood for expanding access to the ballot box and we will continue to do so.
To emphasize, this lawsuit was not so much about the Presidential contest or the other races in Minnesota. This lawsuit was about holding candidates accountable to follow the laws. Whether it is residency requirements or getting a candidate’s name on the ballot, laws matter.
With 57 days left until this critical election the Minnesota DFL will continue to work hard to support its candidates and focus on the issues important to Minnesotans.
Reaction from Minnesota Republican Party Chair Keith Downey:
“We are pleased the Court struck down this blatant Democrat attempt to rig the Minnesota election for Hillary Clinton and disenfranchise Minnesota voters. Our legally filed ballot of Donald Trump and Mike Pence and our electors and alternate electors were properly certified by the Secretary of State. Beyond a court ruling, however, the real solution is to get out and vote for Donald Trump and your Republican legislators – that is the only way we’ll ever close this sad chapter of Democrat corruption.”