MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a Republican candidate’s attempt to join President Donald Trump on the state’s primary election ballot, clearing the way for early voting to begin as scheduled late next week.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is listing only Trump on its ballot, although voters are free to write in other names. Minnesota law gives major parties the power to decide who they’ll list and who they won’t on presidential primary ballots.
That drew a lawsuit from Lake Elmo voter James Martin and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a businessman and frequent candidate who’s challenging Trump in several states for the GOP nomination. They argued that the law is unconstitutional and unfair because it gives parties sole power to determine who gets on the ballot in taxpayer-funded elections.
But in a three-page order issued a few hours after the high court heard oral arguments Thursday, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote that the petitioners claims lack legal merit. The court will issue a more detailed opinion laying out its reasoning later.
Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon had warned that the schedule for the upcoming March 3 Super Tuesday primary would be jeopardized if the court had granted the request.
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