Illinois judge boots Trump from the ballot

 March 1, 2024

Donald Trump was kicked off the ballot in Illinois on Wednesday, just days before the state's Republican primary.

The ruling was hailed as a victory by Trump's opponents, but it's one that could be short-lived.

Cook County judge Tracie Porter signaled she would defer to the Supreme Court, which has already given hints it will strike down efforts to disqualify Trump using the 14th Amendment.

Trump ballot decision

Judge Porter adopted the same reasoning as the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine's Secretary of State: that Trump committed an "insurrection" on January 6th.

"The court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and its impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections," she wrote.

Porter paused her ruling to let Trump appeal, which he promptly did. The judge then clarified that her ruling is paused indefinitely pending resolution of the case by higher courts.

The United States Supreme Court is currently weighing a legal challenge to Trump's ballot access in Colorado. It's not clear when the court will rule, but the justices sounded skeptical of disqualifying Trump during oral arguments in February.

Porter said her ruling would remain paused if the Supreme Court issues a decision "inconsistent" with hers.

What's next?

It appears Trump will stay on the ballot until the Illinois primary on March 19, but Porter said any votes for Trump would be "suppressed" if he ultimately loses the legal fight.

The primaries in Colorado and Maine are coming up on March 5, which is Super Tuesday. Trump is on the ballot in both states pending the Supreme Court's decision.

A spokesman for Trump denounced Porter as an "activist judge" and blasted her "unconstitutional" ruling.

"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," Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said.

"In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls, and will Make America Great Again!”

Trump is the clear frontrunner in the Republican primary after notching decisive victories in a string of early contests. His only challenger remaining, Nikki Haley, has vowed to stay in the race despite trailing by a wide margin.

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