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Illinois becomes third state to remove Trump from ballot over ‘insurrection’ claim

By Mandy Donalds
|
February 29, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has been removed from the Illinois 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot due to allegations related to the Jan. 6 Capitol unrest.

This decision is based on claims concerning Trump's involvement in the Capitol breach in early 2021. The ruling was issued by Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter, who directed that Trump should either be removed from the ballot or that any votes cast for him should not be counted. This decision comes after a previous dismissal of an anti-Trump challenge by the Illinois State Board of Elections, as reported by Fox News.

Judge Porter's decision shakes up the primary race

Judge Porter's ruling is based on a specific section of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, often referred to as the "insurrection clause." This clause is meant to prevent individuals said to have engaged in insurrection against the United States from holding office.

The decision to remove Trump from the ballot overturns an earlier ruling by the Illinois Board of Elections. The board had initially decided to keep Trump's name on the ballot, despite accusations from a group of Illinois voters that he had indeed engaged in insurrection.

However, this decision is not yet final. Trump's legal team has been given until Friday to appeal the decision, which they can do at either the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, or the Illinois Supreme Court.

Trump's campaign vows to fight back

A spokesperson for Trump's campaign has already responded to the ruling, labeling it unconstitutional. They have promised to appeal the decision quickly, indicating that this legal battle is far from over.

The significance of this case extends beyond the state level, as the U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating the scope of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This section is at the heart of the argument against Trump's eligibility to run for office again.

The 14th Amendment explicitly bars individuals from holding office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, having previously sworn an oath to support the Constitution.

The broader implications of the ruling

Notably, Donald Trump has not been formally charged with inciting an insurrection, adding a layer of complexity to the legal arguments surrounding his disqualification.

Former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi weighed in on the situation via a post on X, expressing concern over the Supreme Court's involvement in Trump's claims of immunity. She highlighted the importance of upholding the principle that no one is above the law.

The Supreme Court's decision, expected by the end of June, will have significant implications not only for Trump but also for the interpretation of the Constitution and the accountability of public officials.

Illinois joins Colorado and Maine in ballot decision

With this ruling, Illinois becomes the third state to remove Trump from the presidential primary ballot, following similar decisions in Colorado and Maine. However, those decisions are currently on hold, pending the outcome of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Colorado case.

The primary election in Illinois is scheduled for March 19, adding urgency to the resolution of this legal challenge.

This case highlights the ongoing legal and political battles surrounding former President Trump and raises questions about the criteria for disqualifying candidates from public office.

A pivotal moment in American politics

The decision to remove Trump from the ballot in Illinois marks a significant moment in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election. It underscores the legal and constitutional challenges that can arise in the nomination process.

The outcome of Trump's appeals and the impending Supreme Court decision will likely have far-reaching consequences for American politics, setting precedents for how the Constitution's disqualification clause is interpreted and applied.

As this situation continues to unfold, it will be closely watched by legal experts, politicians, and voters alike, highlighting the intricate balance between legal standards and political considerations in the United States.

Conclusion

  • A judge in Illinois has ruled to remove Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot due to allegations related to the Capitol riot.
  • The decision is based on the so-called "insurrection clause" of the 14th Amendment but is subject to appeal.
  • Trump's campaign has vowed to challenge the ruling, which they deem unconstitutional.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's pending decision on this matter will have significant implications for the interpretation of the Constitution and the eligibility of candidates for public office.
  • Illinois is now the third state to take such action against Trump, highlighting the ongoing legal and political battles surrounding his candidacy.