Trump Appeals Judge’s Decision To Kick Him Off The Ballot In Illinois

( – Former President Donald Trump has asked an appeals court to vacate a liberal judge’s decision that removed him from the state’s ballot, but the U.S. Supreme Court has stepped in, making the appeal moot.

Democrat judge Tracie Porter, who sits on the Circuit Court in Cook County (which includes Chicago) had ruled that the state’s board of elections needed to remove Trump from the ballot. The reason was familiar, if untenable: that Trump participated in an “insurrection” on January 6th, 2021, and was therefore ineligible to run for president.

This has been the rationale behind the three states—Illinois, Maine, and Colorado—that have removed Trump from presidential voting ballots. The argument is that Trump’s encouragement to his supporters to protest at the Capitol on January 6th was an act of, or part of, an “insurrection.” Proponents of this theory have based it on the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which bars those who engage in insurrection from holding a number of government offices. Most legal scholars seem to agree that the reasoning is weak, and have predicted that it would not be successful.

A statement from the Trump campaign called the Illinois action the work of an “activist” Democrat judge who overruled the state board of elections, which had declined to remove Trump from the ballot.

In response to Trump’s appeal, Judge Porter stayed her ruling to allow the case to proceed to a conclusion. But that all became irrelevant on March 4th when the US Supreme Court handed down a rare unanimous decision declaring that only Congress has the power to enforce the 14th Amendment.

The SCOTUS opinion stated that only Congress, not the individual states, can enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment regarding federal officeholders. Because the ruling establishes that individual states may not disqualify candidates for federal offices, this means that Trump is automatically back on the ballot in Colorado and Maine as well.

The ruling did not decide questions such as whether Trump participated in an insurrection, nor whether an insurrection took place on January 6th.

Copyright 2024,