NATIONAL NEWS

Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot because of ‘insurrectionist ban’

Feb 28, 2024, 5:55 PM | Updated: 5:59 pm

Former President Donald Trump attends a campaign event ahead of the Republican presidential primary...

Former President Donald Trump attends a campaign event ahead of the Republican presidential primary election in North Charleston, South Carolina, on February 14. Mandatory Credit: Sam Wolfe/Reuters via CNN Newsource

(CNN) — In a surprise move, an Illinois judge has removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s so-called “insurrectionist ban.”

The decision is paused, giving Trump a short period of time to appeal.

Wednesday’s unexpected decision comes as a similar anti-Trump challenge from Colorado is pending before the US Supreme Court, which is widely expected to reject arguments that Trump is barred from office.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter heavily relied on the prior finding by the Colorado Supreme Court, calling Colorado’s “rationale compelling.”

“The court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and its impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections,” Porter wrote. “The Illinois State Board of Election 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.”

The judge stripped Trump from the Illinois ballot one month after the anti-Trump challenge was dismissed by the Illinois State Board of Elections. In a unanimous and bipartisan vote, the election board tossed the anti-Trump case because it said it didn’t have jurisdiction to review the matter.

Illinois is now the third state where Trump was booted from the ballot, after Colorado and Maine. But those decisions were paused pending the appeal of the Colorado case to the US Supreme Court.

Trump can appeal the judge’s decision in Illinois state courts.

He has already beaten back similar lawsuits in many other states.

The Illinois challenge was filed by a group of voters in coordination with Free Speech For People, a legal advocacy group that previously tried, but failed, to remove Trump from the ballot in MichiganMinnesota and Oregon.

At a hearing in late January, Porter pressed Trump’s lawyers on the difference between a “riot” and an “insurrection,” and whether Trump must first be convicted of a crime before he is barred from office.

“Is it important to understand why this mob of people came together and what they were actually trying to do?” Porter asked Trump’s lawyers, referring to the January 6, 2021, insurrection.

Trump attorney Nicholas Nelson described the events of January 6 as a “political riot,” comparing it to an angry mob, rather than a group with a specific series of legal aims.

“It was about one government act, and there’s no indication that the rioters had any plan,” Nelson said. “They were just angry.”

Illinois law requires candidates to certify that they are “qualified” for the office they’re seeking, which Trump did when he filed to run in the state’s GOP primary. Porter asked another Trump attorney, Adam Merrill, if Trump would need to be convicted of insurrection beforehand for his filing to be false.

“It would be much more difficult for us if that had happened,” Merrill said. “Here you don’t have that.”

Porter had previously declined Trump’s request to pause the proceedings until the US Supreme Court rules on the similar Colorado-based case challenge that barred him from the ballot in that state.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE - Chad Daybell is on trial for the murders of his wife Lori Vallow Daybell's two children, Jos...

Mary Culbertson

Tammy Daybell’s voice heard in court following emotional testimony

During the ninth day of Chad Daybell's murder trial, Tammy Daybell's voice was heard in the courtroom in a phone call with a dispatcher.

16 hours ago

In this photo released by the MacDill Air Force Base, an alligator rests at the landing gear of a K...

Associated Press

Alligator on runway at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida captured, released into nearby river

A large alligator made its way onto the runway at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida where it had to be captured and taken away for release in a nearby river, officials said.

16 hours ago

FILE - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) building in Washington, on Jan. 28, 2015. The Federal Tra...

Christopher Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The FTC voted to bar ‘noncompete’ agreements for most employees

The Federal Trade Commission voted to ban measures known as noncompete agreements, which bar workers from jumping to or starting competing companies for a prescribed period of time.

16 hours ago

Former New York Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from the House and is facing federal charges, ...

Rashard Rose, CNN

George Santos ends congressional bid for New York’s 1st District

Former New York Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from the House and is facing federal charges, said he is withdrawing his bid for Congress in New York’s 1st District.

17 hours ago

A graphic shows what a lava lake, called Loki Patera, may look like on the surface of Jupiter's moo...

Ashley Strickland, CNN

Unprecedented images reveal jaw-dropping features of Jupiter’s ‘tortured moon’

Close flybys of Io, one of Jupiter’s moons and the most volcanically active world in our solar system, have revealed a lava lake and a towering feature called “Steeple Mountain” on the moon’s alien surface.

18 hours ago

FILE - Larry Nassar listens during his sentencing at Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Mich....

Associated Press

US government agrees to $138.7M settlement over FBI’s botching of Larry Nassar assault allegations

The U.S. Justice Department announced a $138.7 million settlement Tuesday with more than 100 people who accused the FBI of grossly mishandling allegations of sexual assault against Larry Nassar.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot because of ‘insurrectionist ban’