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US: Illinois judge removes Donald Trump from state ballot due to “insurrectionist ban”

Thu, 29 Feb 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Illinois [US], February 29 (ANI): An Illinois judge has removed former US President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot on the basis of the 14th Amendment’s so-called “insurrectionist ban,” CNN reported.
The decision has been halted, giving Trump a short time to appeal. The judge’s decision on Wednesday (local time) comes as a similar anti-Trump challenge from Colorado is pending before the US Supreme Court, which is widely expected to not agree to the arguments that Trump is barred from office.
Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter depended on the prior finding by the Colorado Supreme Court, terming Colorado’s “rationale compelling.”
Porter wrote, “The court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and its impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections.” The judge added, “The Illinois State Board of Election 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.”
The judge removed Trump from the Illinois ballot a month after the anti-Trump challenge was dismissed by the Illinois State Board of Elections. The election board tossed the anti-Trump case as it said it didn’t have jurisdiction to review the matter.
Illinois is the third state where former US President Donald Trump has been removed from the ballot after Colorado and Maine. However, those decisions were paused pending the appeal of the Colorado case to the US Supreme Court, according to CNN report.
Trump can appeal the decision taken by the judge in Illinois state courts. He has already challenged similar lawsuits in many other states. A group of voters in coordination with Free Speech for People, an advocacy group filed the Illinois challenge. The advocacy group had previously tried, however, they failed to remove Trump from the ballot in Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon.
During a hearing in January, Porter asked Trump’s lawyers about the difference between a “riot” and an “insurrection,” and whether Trump must first be convicted of a crime before he is banned from office, CNN reported.
Questioning Trump’s lawyers, Tracie Porter said, “Is it important to understand why this mob of people came together and what they were actually trying to do?” referring to the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Trump’s lawyer Nicholas Nelson called the events of January 6 as a “political riot,” comparing it to an angry mob, instead of a group with a specific series of legal goals.
Nelson said, “It was about one government act, and there’s no indication that the rioters had any plan.” He added, “They were just angry,” according to CNN report.
Notably, Illinois law requires candidates to certify that they are “qualified” for the office they’re seeking, which former US President Donald Trump did when he filed to constest the state’s GOP primary.
Tracie Porter asked Trump’s another lawyer, Adam Merrill, if Trump would need to be convicted of insurrection beforehand for his filing to be false.
Merrill said, “It would be much more difficult for us if that had happened.” He said, “Here you don’t have that.”
Previously, Tracie Porter rejected Trump’s request to halt the proceedings until the US Supreme Court announces its verdict on the similar Colorado-based case challenge that banned him from the ballot in that state. (ANI)



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