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Judge orders Trump removed from Illinois primary ballot, pending appeal

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A Cook County judge has issued an order for the Illinois Board of Elections to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot, citing concerns over his role in the January 6th Capitol attack. However, the decision has been temporarily stayed, awaiting a likely appeal.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie R. Porter rendered the ruling on Wednesday but opted to postpone its enforcement until Friday, anticipating an appeal to either the Illinois Appellate or Supreme Court. The primary election is scheduled for March 19.

In swift response to the ruling, Steven Cheung, spokesperson for Mr. Trump’s campaign, condemned the decision as unconstitutional, vowing to promptly appeal the judgment. Illinois joins several states in contemplating disqualification of the former President based on his alleged involvement in the Capitol insurrection.

The legal dispute centers around Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office. This clause, dormant for over 150 years, gained attention after the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Trump from its GOP primary ballot, setting a precedent for other states.

While the Illinois State Board of Elections initially declined to remove Trump from the ballot, a subsequent judicial intervention allowed the petitioners to pursue their case further. The U.S. Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the matter holds significant sway over similar efforts in states like Colorado and Maine.

Legal analysts, including CBS 2’s Irv Miller, underscored the insignificance of the Cook County court ruling in light of pending Supreme Court deliberations. With the high court scheduled to hear arguments regarding Trump’s presidential immunity and electoral disqualification, the fate of his candidacy remains uncertain.

The timing of the Supreme Court’s decision, particularly in light of the impending primary elections, adds complexity to the electoral landscape. Miller noted that while a ruling could come swiftly, the discretion lies with the judges, potentially influencing the outcome of the primaries and, ultimately, the presidential election itself.

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