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Judge Orders Trump Be Removed From Illinois Primary Ballot

Illinois becomes third state to remove former President Trump from primary ballot 02:18

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge on Wednesday ordered the Illinois Board of Elections to remove former President Donald Trump from the Illinois primary ballot – but also put the order on hold, pending a likely appeal.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie R. Porter issued the ruling Wednesday – but stayed the ruling until Friday in anticipation of an appeal to the Illinois Appellate or Supreme Court.

The primary is on March 19.

Mr. Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung responded quickly, saying, “This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal.”

Illinois is one of several states considering disqualifying former President Trump because of his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – and whether that could be considered an insurrection.

The case hinges on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars officials who have sworn to support the Constitution from serving in government if they engage in insurrection. The provision was enacted in 1868 to prevent former Confederates from holding office – and laid mostly dormant for more than 150 years.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment – also known as the insurrection clause of the disqualification clause – had never in the nation’s history been used to disqualify a presidential candidate until December.

But that changed when the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that Mr. Trump’s conduct related to Jan. 6 deemed him ineligible for the presidency. The court ordered him to be excluded from the state’s GOP presidential primary ballot.

The case went before the Illinois State Board of Elections in January , but the board ruled it did not have the authority to remove Mr. Trump from the ballot. But a judge later gave the petitioners a green light to continue their effort to get Mr. Trump removed.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the matter soon. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Mr. Trump’s favor, most of the efforts to keep him off the ballot – in Illinois, Colorado, Maine, and elsewhere – would likely be tossed out.

CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller pointed out the highest court has two cases regarding the former president, and said as a result, the Cook County court decision is “absolutely meaningless.”

“[The U.S. Supreme Court has] the two big cases right now – on the Colorado case throwing him off the ballot because of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the question of whether or not he has presidential immunity,” Miller said.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided it will hear arguments on April 22 as to whether Mr. Trump should be granted immunity from prosecution. A federal grand jury indicted Mr. Trump for attempting to overturn the 2020 election, and the U.S. Appeals Court rejected the immunity claim earlier this month.

Miller was asked if he believes the election itself could come down to the Supreme Court.

“I hope not,” he said. “I hope it comes down to the people going to the polling place and voting on a fair and legal election.”

Yet the question is just how soon after hearing the arguments the U.S. Supreme Court will make a ruling.

“They could hear the case on April 22, and not make a decision until July if that’s what they want to do. They could also make a decision a whole lot quicker,” said Miller. “Frankly, it’s totally up to the judges.”

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