Court refuses to hear Hoffman

Posted Aug. 20, 2008, at 10:56 p.m.

PORTLAND — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to intervene in independent U.S. Senate hopeful Herbert Hoffman’s bid to get his name on Maine’s ballot in November.

Without comment, Justice David Souter denied Hoffman’s request to block a Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling that invalidated petitions to get him listed on the ballot.

The decision effectively puts an end to Hoffman’s bid to have his name put on the ballot against Republican Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, who is the Democratic challenger.

“At this time my legal team and key policy advisers are considering the options available to us,” Hoffman told The Associated Press. He said he would issue a statement Thursday.

Hoffman, a retired psychologist from Ogunquit, entered the race in February saying neither of the contestants in the closely watched race has held the Bush administration accountable.

Hoffman, a Democrat for more than 50 years who dropped his party affiliation so he could run as an independent, submitted more than 4,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office to get on the ballot.

The Maine Democratic Party, which feared Hoffman could draw away votes from Allen, filed a challenge to keep him off the ballot, claiming some signatures were invalid.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap denied the Democratic party’s challenge, and his ruling was upheld by a Superior Court judge. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, however, overturned the lower court ruling.

Hoffman then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the state high court’s ruling.

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