Illinois judge kicks Donald Trump off state ballot, third state to take action - Hindustan Times
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Illinois judge kicks Donald Trump off the state ballot, third state to take action

Feb 29, 2024 10:34 AM IST

Illinois judge rules Trump participated in insurrection, barred from primary ballot. Cloud of uncertainty surrounds around March election.

On Wednesday, an Illinois state judge ruled that former President Donald Trump had participated in an insurrection and was not allowed to be on the state’s primary ballot.

A Cook County judge ordered the Illinois State Board of Elections to take former President Donald Trump's name off of the state's March 19 primary ballot Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, but placed her order on hold until Friday to allow an appeal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)(AP)
A Cook County judge ordered the Illinois State Board of Elections to take former President Donald Trump's name off of the state's March 19 primary ballot Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, but placed her order on hold until Friday to allow an appeal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)(AP)

This decision creates doubt for the state’s March election, where early voting has already started.

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It also makes it more urgent for the US Supreme Court to give a national answer to the questions that have been raised about Trump’s ability to be on ballots in more than 30 states.

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Illinois Judge delays decision on Trump's ballot removal until Friday

The judge, Tracie R. Porter of the State Circuit Court in Cook County, said the State Board of Elections had made a mistake in rejecting an attempt to remove Trump and said the board “shall remove Donald J. Trump from the ballot for the general primary election on March 19, 2024, or cause any votes cast for him to be suppressed.”

But Democratic Judge Porter delayed her decision until Friday, which means Trump can stay on the Illinois ballot at least until then.

A spokesman for the Trump campaign said the ruling was against the constitution and promised to appeal.

“Today, an activist Democrat judge in Illinois summarily overruled the state’s Board of Elections and contradicted earlier decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions,” the spokesman, Steven Cheung, said in a statement.

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Judge Porter’s ruling makes Illinois the biggest state where Trump has been found ineligible on constitutional grounds. Officials in Colorado and Maine previously ruled him ineligible on similar grounds.

“The decision recognizes the importance of rule of law and upholding the mandate of the U.S. Constitution,” said Caryn Lederer, a lawyer for the Illinois residents challenging Trump, in a statement.

According to a New York Times, formal challenges to Trump’s candidacy have been filed in at least 36 states.

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