Illinois Judge Rules Trump Disqualified From Ballot

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
February 28, 20242024 Elections
Illinois Judge Rules Trump Disqualified From Ballot
Former President Donald Trump sits in New York State Supreme Court during the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024. (PETER FOLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on whether former President Donald Trump can be disqualified as a candidate by individual states under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, an Illinois judge ruled President Trump ineligible for the ballot.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tracie Porter, following other jurisdictions, stayed her order to remove the former president pending an appeal.

The ruling came a week after the judge heard arguments regarding Illinois statutes.

“This Order is stayed until March 1, 2024 in anticipation of an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, or the Illinois Supreme Court. This Order is further stayed if the United States Supreme Court in Anderson v. Griswold enters a decision inconsistent with this Order,” the ruling reads.

On Feb. 8, the day the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding Colorado’s disqualification of President Trump, mail-in ballots were sent out in Illinois with President Trump’s name on them. This puts the state in a position to potentially have to not count votes cast for him.

If the order is not stayed and reversed, the state elections board will be tasked with removing “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, according to the procedures within their administrative authority.”

Much of the judge’s opinion and order dealt with state law and whether the state elections board had the jurisdiction to rule on this matter.

The judge found that Illinois law allowed petitioners to bring this kind of a challenge and that President Trump was “disqualified by engaging in insurrection,” noting that this finding was echoed by the hearing officer of the state election board and the Colorado Supreme Court.

“This Court shares the Colorado Supreme Court’s sentiments that did not reach its conclusions lightly. This Court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and it (sic) impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections,” the order reads.

Both of those jurisdictions based the “insurrection” conclusion on records that plaintiffs presented drawn largely from the controversial Jan. 6 Select Committee report.

Judge Porter determined that Section 3 was self-executing, applied to presidents, and could be applied by individual states even in the event of a national election.

These legal issues are all currently before the Supreme Court, which on Feb. 8 questioned attorneys representing President Trump and six petitioners from Colorado on the ramifications of states applying Section 3 at length and spent little time discussing whether an insurrection occurred.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung responded to the decision by highlighting that the judge was acting against the decision of the state’s board of elections and other relevant rulings, and called Judge Porter an “activist Democrat judge.”

“The Soros-funded Democrat front-groups continue to attempt to interfere in the election and deny President Trump his rightful place on the ballot,” he said. “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.

“This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal,” he added. “In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls, and will Make America Great Again!”


The challenge was brought by five Illinois voters, represented by the activist group “Free Speech for People.”

Earlier, the bipartisan Illinois State Board of Elections unanimously voted to keep President Trump on the ballot after determining that the board did not have the authority to analyze constitutional issues. The board unanimously voted to keep President Joe Biden on the ballot for similar reasons, in response to two separate challenges brought against the sitting president.

The challenge to President Trump’s eligibility was then appealed in circuit court, and the parties have indicated that whatever the ruling, it would be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Free Speech for People Legal Director Ron Fein declared it a “historic victory.”

Since 2021, Free Speech for People has been promoting the legal theory that President Trump is disqualified from running for office because the events of Jan. 6, 2021, constituted an alleged “insurrection” as described in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, and the Illinois case is one of several it has brought.

Trump attorneys, in appealing to the Supreme Court, revealed early last month that some 60 such challenges have been brought across 30 states already.

After the high court agreed to hear the case in January, many lower courts held off on issuing a ruling, including a Maine court that stayed the Maine state secretary’s decision to disqualify President Trump in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling.

By mid-February, Trump attorneys counted 88 similar challenges filed across 45 states.

From The Epoch Times

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