Illinois judge orders removal of Trump from state’s primary ballot

CHICAGO — An Illinois judge on Wednesday ordered the state’s election board to remove former President Donald Trump from the March 19 Republican presidential primary, but placed her order on hold in anticipation of an expected appeal.

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Cook County Judge Tracie Porter ordered the former president off the ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Illinois now joins Colorado and Maine as states that are attempting to remove Trump from the ballot for the Republican presidential primary.

Porter based her ruling on the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision that removed Trump from that state’s ballot, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The judge stayed the effect of the ruling until Friday, anticipating an appeal at a higher level of Illinois’ courts and a potential ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Colorado case, the newspaper reported.

Porter wrote that she was aware that her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” the Sun-Times reported.

The U.S. Supreme Court is working against the clock on the Colorado case, since the state’s primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

In her ruling, Porter said that by signing his statement of candidacy for the Illinois Republican primary ballot on Jan. 4, Trump “falsely swore” that he was “legally qualified’ for the office he sought, because the Colorado Supreme Court had already ruled that the former president “had been found to engage in insurrection.”

On Jan. 30, the Illinois State Board of Elections rejected by an 8-0 vote an effort to disqualify Trump from the ballot, the Tribune reported. The bipartisan board reviewed a request to keep the former president off the primary ballot because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, incident at the U.S. Capitol.

An attorney representing objectors to Trump’s spot on the Illinois ballot called the judge’s ruling a “very important victory,” the Sun-Times reported.

“(The judge) has reviewed the extensive body of evidence and determined that he’s disqualified from the presidency,” Caryn Lederer told the newspaper. “That is a critical decision that is adding to decisions in Colorado and Maine on this point.”

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