Trump Appeals Illinois Disqualification, Asks for Stay of Removal From Ballot

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
February 29, 2024Donald Trump

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump asked an Illinois appeals court on Feb. 29 to stay a judge’s order disqualifying him from the ballot.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tracie Porter ruled on Feb. 28 that President Trump was “disqualified by engaging in insurrection” and votes for him should be voided if the order goes into effect.

Illinois will hold primary elections on March 19. Ballots have already been printed with President Trump’s name on them, and mail-in ballots with his name have been sent to voters.

“Staying this judgment until the Illinois appellate courts finally decide this case would reduce the great risk of voter confusion and logistical difficulties for election officials,” the appeal reads.

Judge Porter had stayed her own removal order until March 1 in the event the ruling was appealed, but the wording of the stay was vague. President Trump’s attorneys asked the court to clarify that the stay would continue past March 1 in the event of an appeal, until a higher court has rendered a judgment, requesting an emergency stay otherwise.

“Consequently, if this Court denies this motion or has not ruled by 12:00 noon on February 29. 2024, the Candidate intends to move the Appellate Court for such a stay on an emergency basis. President Trump therefore respectfully requests a ruling from this Court on this motion as early as possible on February 29,” the appeal reads.

President Trump’s attorneys had previously argued that Judge Porter should withhold judgment until the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision. That court had heard arguments regarding the Colorado Supreme Court’s disqualification of the former president on Feb. 8.

The judge rejected the motion and ruled that state law allows officials to remove ineligible candidates.

In Illinois, as in many similar challenges filed across the nation, the argument that President Trump is ineligible is based on the theory that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, constituted an insurrection, and that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment grants states the power to disqualify a presidential candidate. These are just some of the questions currently before the Supreme Court.

Disqualification Decision

Judge Porter’s ruling read, “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.”

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 the circuit court, and the parties have indicated that whatever the ruling, it would be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In asking for a stay, President Trump’s attorneys previously argued before Judge Porter that the timing of the challenge would disenfranchise voters. Ballots had already gone out listing President Trump, and petitioners would ask that those votes not be counted.

In appealing the state election board’s decision in court, the petitioners—five Illinois voters backed by the activist group Free Speech for People—argued that the board’s ruling implied it could “never” enforce the “candidacy requirements set out in the U.S. or Illinois Constitution.” The arguments also focused on whether the election board had created a new issue in determining whether a candidate knowingly lied on their application to appear on state ballots.

President Trump’s attorneys argued that these were all administrative state law questions that could still be settled after the Supreme Court ruled on President Trump’s eligibility, and took the politically charged component out of the equation.

From The Epoch Times

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