Donald Trump can stay on 2024 Illinois ballot despite push to disqualify him, state officials rule

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Former President Donald Trump can run in Illinois’ presidential primary, the state’s election board ruled in a unanimous decision Tuesday.

The move came a week before the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether an anti-insurrectionist safeguard in the Constitution can be used to disqualify Trump. The former president has already been barred from ballots in Colorado and Maine over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, though he's fighting the decisions.

Trump immediately celebrated the decision, sharing on his Truth Social platform "The VOTE was 8-0 in favor of keeping your favorite President (ME!), on the Ballot."

The Illinois board that found Trump can run in the state's 2024 primary is composed of four Democrats and four Republicans.

Their decision came after a former Republican judge who had been appointed to hear arguments in the case found that Trump is ineligible based on a “preponderance of the evidence." But the judge also recommended that the board leave the decision in the hands of the courts.

Trump has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that he is disqualified from the state’s primary ballot.

President Donald Trump departs for his sexual assault defamation trial in New York on January 25, 2024.
President Donald Trump departs for his sexual assault defamation trial in New York on January 25, 2024.

Their case hinges on a section of the 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War to bar from office those who had engaged in insurrection after previously promising to support the Constitution.

Trump argues the amendment does not apply to former presidents. And even if it does, he did not “engage in insurrection.”

Trump never told his supporters to enter the Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot , and he did not “lead, direct, or encourage any of the unlawful acts that occurred at the Capitol,” his lawyers have told the Supreme Court.

In addition to Colorado and Maine, Trump’s eligibility has been challenged across the country.

Some state courts and officials looked at the idea and passed, including California, Minnesota and Michigan. Colorado's Supreme Court and the secretary of state in Maine concluded Trump's actions barred him from their ballots. Those decisions have been put on hold until the Supreme Court weighs in.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump can stay on Illinois ballot after push to disqualify him