Judge orders Trump removed from Illinois primary ballots

Judge orders Trump removed from Illinois primary ballots

Signage outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on Feb 8, 2024. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Signage outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on Feb 8, 2024. (Photo: Bloomberg)

CHICAGO — A state judge in Illinois ruled Wednesday that former United States President Donald Trump had engaged in insurrection and was ineligible to appear on the state's primary ballot.

The decision by Judge Tracie R. Porter of state Circuit Court in Cook County was stayed until Friday. Porter, a Democrat, said the state Board of Elections had erred in rejecting an attempt to remove Trump and said the board "shall remove Donald J. Trump from the ballot for the General Primary Election on March 19, 2024, or cause any votes cast for him to be suppressed."

Early voting in the Illinois primary is already underway. Because Porter stayed her order, Trump can remain on the ballot at least until Friday, giving him a chance to appeal the order.

"Today, an activist Democrat judge in Illinois summarily overruled the state’s board of elections and contradicted earlier decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions," a Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung, said in a statement. "This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal."

Porter’s ruling made Illinois the third and most populous state where Trump has been ruled ineligible on constitutional grounds.

Former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Jan 20, 2024. (Photo: New York Times)

The Colorado Supreme Court and Maine's Democratic secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, each found Trump ineligible. Trump, who is leading in Republican primary polls, has appealed those decisions, and his campaign has described the attempts to remove him from the ballot as antidemocratic.

Trump has appealed the Colorado and Maine rulings and is likely to appear on ballots in both states. The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Colorado appeal on Feb 8 in a case that could determine Trump's eligibility for the ballot nationally. Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared sceptical of the reasoning used to disqualify Trump. It is not clear when they will issue a ruling.

Porter said her ruling would be further stayed if the US Supreme Court issued an opinion in the Colorado case inconsistent with her findings.


This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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