Judge Trump orders against the primaries in Illinois, but suspends the ruling

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Judge Trump orders against the primaries in Illinois, but suspends the ruling

Election 2024

February 28, 2024

A Cook County judge ruled Wednesday that the Illinois State Board of Elections must remove former President Trump’s name from the March 19 primary, but postponed her order until Friday to allow an appeal.

Judge Tracie Porter issued her ruling after a group of voters tried to remove Trump’s name from the primaries over the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, suing to block the Board of Elections’ unanimous rejection of his efforts. The five electors argued that Trump is ineligible for office because he encouraged the riot and insurrection at the Capitol and did little to stop it.

The case is one of dozens of lawsuits filed to remove Trump from the ballot, arguing that he is ineligible because of a rarely used clause in the 14th Amendment that bars those who engaged in insurrection from holding office clothe. The U.S. Supreme Court indicated earlier this month that it is likely to reject that strategy when it heard an appeal of a ruling in Colorado that removed Trump from the ballot there. Like the Illinois decision, the Colorado ruling is stayed until the appeal is completed.

Porter wrote in her 38-page ruling that the group of voters’ petition should have been granted because they had met their burden and the election board’s decision was clearly incorrect.

This is a historic victory, said Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People and co-lead counsel on the case. Every court or official that has examined the merits of Trump’s constitutional fitness has found that he committed insurrection after taking the oath of office and is therefore disqualified from running for president.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung issued a statement saying an activist Democratic judge in Illinois had summarily overruled the state’s election board and contradicted previous decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions. This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will appeal quickly.

Porter said her order would be stayed if the Supreme Court’s ruling ultimately conflicts with hers.


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