Trump appeals ruling disqualifying him from Illinois ballot

FILE PHOTO: Closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, in New York
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Donald Trump on Thursday appealed an Illinois judge's ruling barring him from appearing on the state's Republican presidential primary ballot because of the former president's role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

In her ruling, issued on Wednesday, Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter sided with Illinois voters who argued Trump should be disqualified from the state's March 19 primary ballot and its Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Trump filed a notice of appeal on Thursday to Illinois' 1st District Appellate Court the day after a Trump campaign spokesperson said Porter's decision was unconstitutional.

Porter found that Trump violated the anti-insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which bars from public office anyone who took an oath to support Constitution and then has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Porter had immediately stayed her ruling in anticipation of Trump's appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court will probably decide the final outcome of the Illinois case and similar challenges. The top court heard arguments related to Trump's ballot eligibility on Feb. 8.

The advocacy group Free Speech For People, which spearheaded the Illinois disqualification effort, had no immediate comment on Trump's appeal.

Colorado and Maine have also removed Trump from their state ballots after determining he is disqualified under the Constitution. Both decisions are on hold while Trump appeals.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters attacked police and swarmed the Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 election victory. Trump gave an incendiary speech beforehand, telling supporters to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell." For hours, he did not act on requests that he urge the mob to stop.

The Supreme Court is currently weighing Trump's challenge to his Colorado disqualification. The justices in Washington appeared skeptical of the decision during oral arguments in the case, expressing concerns about states taking sweeping actions that could affect the national election.

(Reporting by Paul Grant and David Thomas; editing by Rami Ayyub, David Bario and David Gregorio)