Judge kicks Trump off Illinois ballot, but ruling is on hold – NBC Chicago


A Cook County judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump should be removed from Illinois’ primary ballot because of violations of the “insurrection clause” in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but put the ruling on hold pending appeals and other cases.

The ruling, issued by Circuit Court Judge Tracie Porter on Wednesday, agreed with arguments made by Colorado’s Supreme Court when it kicked Trump off the ballot in that state. Porter’s ruling followed a determination by Illinois’ State Board of Elections in January that Trump’s name should remain on the ballot, but also recommended that a court make the ultimate decision in the case.

That Colorado case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, with a ruling expected before that state’s primary election. Porter said in her ruling that the order would be put on hold if the Supreme Court’s ruling was “inconsistent” with hers.

She also put the ruling on hold until at least Friday due to an anticipated appeal in Illinois court.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the Colorado case in early February, and according to legal experts cited by The New York Times and other publications, there was skepticism in the arguments made to keep the former president off the ballot.

The Illinois ruling repeatedly cited findings from the Colorado case, saying that Trump’s actions in the lead-up to, and on the day of Jan. 6, 2021, should be construed as insurrection, making him ineligible to hold the office of president.

Colorado’s Supreme Court concluded “that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the secretary to list President Trump as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.”

Trump’s attorneys have disputed that characterization in appeals, saying that his actions fell well short of the 14th Amendment’s definition of insurrection. They cited tweets the president had sent calling for peace in Washington amid the chaos at the Capitol, but Porter dismissed those remarks as “plausible deniability” of potential crimes.

“This tweet could not possibly have had any other intended purposes besides to fan the flames. The hearing office determines that these calls to peace via social media, coming after an inflammatory tweet are the product of trying to give himself plausible deniability,” the ruling read.

She argued that the Capitol riot’s purpose was “the furtherance of the president’s plan to disrupt the electoral count taking place before the joint meeting of Congress,” and therefore qualified as insurrection under the Constitution.

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