Trump appeals Illinois judge’s ruling removing him from primary ballot

<span>Donald Trump in court in New York on 7 December 2023.</span><span>Photograph: David Dee Delgado/Pool via AP</span>
Donald Trump in court in New York on 7 December 2023.Photograph: David Dee Delgado/Pool via AP

Donald Trump has appealed a decision from an Illinois state judge who decided he should be removed from that state’s ballot because of the 14th amendment, an ongoing issue for Trump in the courts.

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Tracie Porter, the Cook county circuit judge, made the decision on Wednesday, reversing the previous decision by the Illinois state board of elections, which said Trump could stay on the ballot. The order was put on hold pending an appeal from Trump, which came swiftly on Thursday.

The Illinois decision came after the Colorado supreme court ruled similarly, saying Trump couldn’t hold office again because he had participated in an insurrection while an officer of the United States. Another decision in Maine, by the state’s secretary of state, decided to keep Trump off the ballot there as well, though that is now on hold.

The Colorado decision went before the US supreme court in February, which has yet to rule on the case, though the justices expressed a load of skepticism of the claims that Trump shouldn’t be allowed to run again.

The 14th amendment’s third clause, a little-used provision of the constitution that came about after the US civil war, in the Reconstruction era, intends to keep those who engaged in insurrection from holding an office again. It was used mostly against Confederates shortly after its adoption, but some legal scholars and activist groups revived it recently to argue that Trump fit its provisions because of his actions to overturn the results and incite an insurrection after he lost the 2020 election.

Voters in several states, often backed by non-profits seeking to hold Trump accountable, have filed challenges to keep him off the ballot over the 14th amendment. Trump has called these efforts “election interference”.