Trump Barred from Illinois GOP Primary by Judge Over January 6 Actions

Cook County’s Judge Tracie Porter ruled on Wednesday to exclude Former President Donald Trump from the Illinois Republican primary ballot slated for March 19. 

Not Suitable to Hold Office 

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The judge’s ruling is based on Trump’s alleged role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, implying that he is not suitable to hold the presidential office again.

Colorado Ruling 

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Judge Tracie Porter issued her ruling, drawing on the legal precedent established by the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision in December. 

“Insurrection Clause” 

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This decision resulted in Trump’s removal from the state’s ballot, citing the “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Awaiting Appeal

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Although Porter has directed Illinois election officials not to count votes for Trump, she has paused the implementation of her ruling, anticipating an appeal that could escalate to higher courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unconstitutional Judgement 

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Trump’s campaign denounced the judgment as unconstitutional, with spokesman Steven Cheung criticizing the judge’s decision and confirming plans to appeal. 

An Activist Judge

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Cheung said, “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.” 

Trump’s Poll Dominance


He added, “This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal. In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls and will Make America Great Again!”

Origin of the Case

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The legal challenge against Trump’s candidacy was initiated by Illinois voters, supported by Free Speech for People, based on the 14th Amendment. 

A Landmark Victory

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Ron Fein of Free Speech For People lauded the decision as a landmark victory. Fein said, “Every court or official that has addressed the merits of Trump’s constitutional eligibility has found that he engaged in insurrection after taking the oath of office and is therefore disqualified from the presidency.”

Disqualification Grounds

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The judge pointed out that Trump’s declaration of candidacy, which asserted his legal qualification, was misleading given the prior Colorado ruling against him for insurrection activities.

State Board’s Initial Stance

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Porter’s decision was issued as part of an appeal challenging the Illinois State Board of Elections ruling on January 30. The appeal sought to disqualify Trump from the primary ballot due to his involvement in the January 6 riot, which aimed to obstruct the counting of Electoral College votes.

Bipartisan Decision

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The elections board, in an 8-0 bipartisan decision permitted Trump’s name to remain on the ballot. They dismissed an objection alleging that he “knowingly” lied by signing a statement of candidacy affirming his eligibility for the presidency.

Anticipated Appeals

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Despite the ruling, an appeal was expected. Advocates for Trump’s disqualification intend to elevate the matter to the Illinois Supreme Court, where there is a Democratic majority.

Agreement with Colorado Ruling

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Porter praised the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision. He wrote, “This court shares the Colorado Supreme Court’s sentiments that (it) did not reach its conclusions lightly. This court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and its impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections,”

Legal Opinion

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The judge also considered the opinion of Clark Erickson, a retired Republican judge, who found Trump had participated in an insurrection, echoing the U.S. House of Representatives investigation findings.

“A Common-Sense Approach”

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Porter dismissed the argument that the presidency falls outside the 14th Amendment’s scope for disqualification and argued that “a common-sense approach” dictates that the language of the amendment must include the President of the United States.

Electoral Board’s Limitations

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Acknowledging the State Board of Elections’ procedural constraints, Porter clarified that while the board could not engage in constitutional analysis, the court could assess Trump’s eligibility under the 14th Amendment.

Supreme Court Hearing

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The court decision coincided with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in April regarding Trump’s assertion of absolute immunity for potential criminal acts he purportedly committed as president to influence the 2020 election outcome.

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