Illinois has disqualified Trump from the 2024 ballot. Here’s what this means

Illinois has disqualified Trump from the 2024 ballot. Here’s what this means
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Illinois has become the latest state to weigh in on Donald Trump’s presidential primary ballot eligibility, with a judge ordering the former president to be removed due to his alleged involvement in the January 6 insurrection.

On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Tracie Porter of Cook County issued a ruling in a challenge to Mr Trump’s eligibility which was brought by four Illinois voters and the organisation Free Speech For People.

Much like the near-identical lawsuits brought in other states, the group of voters claimed Mr Trump was ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot due to his actions leading up to and on January 6 2021 – a violation of Section Three of the 14th Amendment known as the “insurrection clause”.

The judge agreed and said the former president should not appear on the ballot.

A spokesperson from Mr Trump’s campaign called the Illinois decision “unconstitutional” and accused the judge of having a Democratic political agenda.

On Thursday – just hours after the ruling was handed down – Mr Trump appealed the decision.

The ruling is currently on pause until the US Supreme Court issues an official decision on a similar ruling in Colorado.

Former US president and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
Former US president and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

The ruling comes just weeks before the state is slated to hold its primary election.

It is also around a month after the Illinois State Board of Elections unanimously dismissed the case, claiming it lacked jurisdiction to remove the former president from the ballot.

The 14th Amendment case brought in Ilinois is part of a much larger effort by voters and groups across the country to prevent the former president, who is facing a trove of criminal and civil trials, from taking office again.

The group initiating the lawsuits believes the former president is partially responsible for the actions on January 6 and in trying to overturn the 2020 election results in his favour. Already, the former president is facing a federal trial that charged him with several counts related to his alleged efforts to interfere with the election. Mr Trump faces another criminal trial in Georgia for allegedly interfering with the 2020 election results.

So far, most states have dismissed or refused to remove Mr Trump from the ballot.

But, Illinois does join Colorado and Maine in removing the former president from the ballot.

Colorado was the first state to do so and now that appeal is in the hands of the Supreme Court. It is unclear when the high court will issue a ruling on the matter.

Most likely, Mr Trump’s ballot eligibility will remain in limbo in Illinois until the Supreme Court issues its decision.