HomeUSATrump Prevails as Illinois Election Board Defers Eligibility Decision to Courts

Trump Prevails as Illinois Election Board Defers Eligibility Decision to Courts

In a significant turn of events, the Illinois State Board of Elections has chosen not to decide on the eligibility of former President Donald Trump for the state’s primary ballot. This decision, made unanimously by the bipartisan board, stems from an objection raised against Trump’s candidacy based on his alleged role in inciting the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

The board, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, voted 8-0, asserting that it lacks the authority to determine whether Trump is constitutionally disqualified from being included on the ballot. Instead, they opted to defer this responsibility to the judicial system, emphasizing the complex constitutional issues at hand.

Despite the unanimous decision, Trump will remain a candidate in the March 19 Republican primary election in Illinois. This move aligns with the board’s stance that the courts should handle the determination of Trump’s eligibility.

The upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing on a similar case from Colorado, scheduled for the beginning of next month, adds a layer of significance to this decision. In Colorado, the state’s supreme court ruled that the 14th Amendment prohibited Trump’s inclusion on the ballot due to his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Last week, after concise debates, the Illinois board’s hearing officer concluded that the matter of Trump’s eligibility should be left to the courts, given the intricate constitutional nature of the issue. Despite this recommendation, retired judge and Republican Party member Clark Erickson maintained that evidence presented clearly established Trump’s involvement in the insurrection, advocating for his disqualification.

A group of five Illinois voters submitted a petition contending that Trump does not meet the requirements outlined in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which dates back to the Civil War era. This provision bars individuals who have participated in acts of insurrection or rebellion from holding public office.

Republican board member Catherine S. McCrory expressed her belief in the occurrence of an “insurrection” during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, but deferred the decision to the courts. The Trump campaign consistently characterizes attempts to keep him off the ballot as an intentional effort to deprive voters of their rights.

Meanwhile, Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, filed an appeal against a judge’s ruling temporarily suspending her decision to exclude Trump from the ballot. The suspension will remain in effect until the Supreme Court decides on the Colorado case, with Bellows expressing her desire to allow Maine’s highest court to weigh in before the March 5 primaries.

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As the Super Tuesday deadline approaches, the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of the Colorado case on February 8th may limit the time available for Bellows to issue a new ruling on Trump’s ballot status and for any further appeals before Election Day.

Lawsuits in Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, and Oregon aimed at preventing Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot have already been dismissed for procedural reasons, according to Fox News.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s imminent ruling will determine whether Trump is ineligible to run for president again based on the constitutional prohibition against insurrectionists holding political office. Two states have already ruled Trump ineligible, while an increasing number of states argue that the so-called insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment does not apply to him.

An emergency appeal from Trump’s attorneys has been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court after he was banned from Colorado’s 2024 ballot by the state’s supreme court. Oral arguments are scheduled for February 8th, with all briefs due by January 31st.


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