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Illinois judge disqualifies Trump from the ballot for his support of the Capitol insurrection

It is the third state to remove his name from the ballot, although the decisions have been put on hold pending the former president’s appeal and the Supreme Court’s ruling on Colorado’s challenge

Donald Trump in Manhattan, on February 15.
Donald Trump in Manhattan, on February 15.Mary Altaffer (AP)
María Antonia Sánchez-Vallejo

An unexpected decision by an Illinois state judge has barred Donald Trump from appearing on the Republican primary ballot over his role in the Republican insurrection in the Capitol in January 2021.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter sided with Illinois voters who argued that the former president should be disqualified from the March 19 primaries and the presidential election of November 5, in which he will foreseeably compete against Joe Biden, for violating the anti-insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment by encouraging the Capitol riot.

However, the judge stayed her decision in expectation that Trump would appeal to Illinois’ appellate courts, and to wait for a similar case in Colorado to get resolved. Porter said her order would be put on hold if the Supreme Court’s ruling is ultimately “inconsistent” with hers.

The former president’s campaign team, as expected, was quick to issue a statement, calling the Illinois decision “an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal.”

Also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court agreed to decide on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, which entails a new postponement in the start of the trial against him for the events that led to the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Judge Porter’s decision comes a month after the Illinois State Election Board unanimously rejected the same bid to block Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment.

Illinois is the third state to throw Trump off the ballot after Colorado and Maine, but all those decisions are on hold while Trump appeals. The Supreme Court is now considering Trump’s challenge against the Colorado decision, which justices in Washington already expressed skepticism about when they heard the arguments of the case.

The Supreme Court’s makeup — three progressive justices and six conservatives, three of them appointed during Trump’s time in office — grants the former president an edge.

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