Illinois judge kicks Trump off primary ballot

  • By Madeline Halbert
  • BBC News, New York

image source, Good pictures

An Illinois judge has ruled Donald Trump guilty of sedition and barred him from the state's primary ballot — though he stayed the ruling pending an appeal.

Two other states – Colorado and Maine – have removed Mr Trump from their primary ballots for violating the 14th Amendment's “sedition” clause.

The final decision will be decided by the US Supreme Court.

Illinois' primary election is scheduled for March 19.

Early voting has already started. Mr Trump – the leading Republican presidential candidate – will remain on the ballot until at least Friday, while he has time to appeal the order.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracy Porter agreed with voters who argued that Mr Trump violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution because of his role in the January 6 Capitol riots.

It comes after Colorado's Supreme Court barred Mr Trump from appearing on the Republican primary ballot in December, arguing that Mr Trump's actions during the 2021 capitol riots amounted to sedition.

In his ruling, Judge Porter called Colorado's reasoning “compelling.” He argued that the state Board of Elections was wrong to reject an earlier attempt to remove Mr. Trump from the ballot.

“The Illinois State Board of Elections will remove Donald J. Trump from the ballot for the general primary election on March 19, 2024, or suppress any votes cast for him,” he said.

“Sorus-funded Democratic front groups continue to attempt to interfere in the election and deny President Trump his rightful place on the ballot,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Trump has already appealed the Colorado case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case earlier this month, appearing to cast doubt on Colorado's decision to ban Mr Trump from the ballot.

The legal challenge is over a Civil War-era constitutional amendment barring anyone “engaged in insurrection or insurrection” from federal office.

But Supreme Court justices have asked tough questions of those representing Colorado voters in favor of banning Mr Trump.

Conservative judge Brett Kavanagh asked whether there would be a “no-vote effect” if voters were not allowed to decide for themselves whether they wanted Mr Trump to be president.

The Illinois judge's ruling comes after the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear another case involving Mr Trump. A 6-3 conservative majority court will decide whether the former president has immunity from a lawsuit related to efforts to alter the 2020 election.

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