Trump Survives Court Challenge, Will Remain On The Ballot In Minnesota

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Minnesotans will still be able to cast ballots for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the GOP line this November.

Minnesota Democrats brought challenge to have Trump’s name, and that of his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, removed from the ballot because of a procedural error by the state Republican committee.

State law requires each party to elect alternate presidential electors for the Electoral College at their respective state conventions, and submit the names of those alternates to the Minnesota Secretary of State by a certain date. Republicans failed to elect alternates at their state convention. When apprised of the error, the state GOP committee designated alternates by fiat.

Minnesota Democratic-Farm Labor Party chair Ken Martin filed a petition with the state Supreme Court, arguing the Trump-Pence ticket ought not appear on the ballot because the party failed to follow state law in filing for the election. Martin also argued that the remedy pursued by the state GOP was not lawful under their bylaws. (RELATED: Dems Try To Throw Trump Off The Ballot In Minnesota)

The state Supreme Court unanimously rejected those arguments using the laches doctrine, which forbids unreasonable delays in bringing claims or so-called “legal ambushes.”

“We have ‘repeatedly stressed the need for diligence and expeditious action by the parties bringing ballot challenges’ because the ‘very nature of matters implicating election laws and proceedings routinely requires expeditious consideration and disposition by courts facing considerable time restraints imposed by the ballot preparation and distribution process,'” the court wrote.

State Supreme Court Justice David Stras recused himself from consideration of the case. Though the reasons for his recusal are unclear, it is likely because Trump named Stras to his list of possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

Trump is currently trailing Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the state, according to the Real Clear Politics average. A Republican has not carried the state since Richard Nixon’s landslide reelection in 1972.

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