Illinois judge orders Trump removed from presidential ballot over insurrection claims

The decision faces immediate appeal as early voting begins, spotlighting the fourteenth amendment's insurrection clause.

Illinois judge orders Trump removed from presidential ballot over insurrection claims
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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In a landmark ruling, Cook County State Circuit Court Judge Tracie R. Porter in Illinois has decreed the removal of former President Donald Trump from the state's presidential primary ballot, citing alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot.

The judge instructed the State Board of Elections to either remove Trump from the March 19, 2024, General Primary Election ballot or to disregard any votes cast for him. However, recognizing the immediate implications of her decision amid ongoing early voting, Porter has temporarily stayed her order, allowing Trump time until Friday to challenge the ruling, the Daily Wire reported.

The Trump campaign quickly condemned the decision, attributing it to political bias and vowing to appeal. A spokesperson criticized the judge's action as an unconstitutional interference by "Soros-funded Democrat front-groups" and an "activist Democrat judge," asserting Trump's continued presence on the ballot and his strong polling performance.

Judge Porter's ruling centers on the Constitution's fourteenth amendment, specifically a section prohibiting individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. from holding office.

This decision comes despite Trump not being formally charged with insurrection in relation to the January 6 events by Special Counsel Jack Smith in Washington, D.C. It reverses a previous determination by the State Board of Elections, which had faced allegations from a group of voters claiming Trump's disqualification under this constitutional provision.

This development adds to a broader legal debate about Trump's eligibility for office, with the U.S. Supreme Court currently reviewing his ballot status in Colorado after a similar challenge.

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