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Democratic judge prevents voters from casting votes for Trump in Illinois
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Democratic judge prevents voters from casting votes for Trump in Illinois

Democratic judges appear overly keen to prevent voters from casting ballots for the the Democratic president's top rival.

A Democratic judge ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump cannot appear on primary ballots in Illinois and that any votes cast for him will "be suppressed," citing his supposed violation of the 14th Amendment's "insurrection clause."

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter's decision was heavily influenced by arguments made in December by the Democratic-appointed justices on Colorado's Supreme Court who ultimately prevented voters in the state from casting votes for President Joe Biden's top rival.

While the Illinois Appellate Court or Illinois Supreme Court might take up the case, the U.S. Supreme Court's forthcoming ruling in Trump v. Anderson could very well sink this and all such disqualification efforts across the country.


Trump filed nomination papers and a statement of candidacy to appear on the ballot for the March 19, 2024, Republican primary in Illinois on Jan. 4. The same day, five men represented by the leftist advocacy group Free Speech for People filed a petition to have the Republican removed, claiming he "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" in relation to the Jan. 6, 2021, protests.

The bipartisan Illinois State Board of Elections took up the petition last month and appointed a hearing officer to mull it over.

The hearing officer, Judge Clark Erickson, concluded that Trump engaged in insurrection and was, as a result, disqualified under Section 3. However, Erickson conceded that state election code did not empower the Electoral Board to rule on the merits of the challenge, noting that such a decision ought to be left up to a court.

The board declined Erickson's recommendation as well as the suggestions Trump engaged in insurrection and that Section 3 applied to the president. The board ultimately decided on Jan. 30 to dismiss the challenge and to permit Trump to appear on the ballot.

Dissatisfied with the outcome, the five men ostensibly seeking to disenfranchise their fellow voters filed a petition for judicial review before the Cook County Circuit Court.


The Democratic judge acknowledged in her Wednesday ruling that the question of whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to the president "is subject to contradictory and controversial interpretation" and that only the Colorado Supreme Court has so far applied it to the chief executive.

While the "Colorado Supreme Court's ruling in Anderson v. Griswold, decided on Dec. 23, 2024, [sic] is not binding precedent, [it is] rather persuasive law," wrote Porter. So persuaded, Porter embraced the Colorado Supreme Court's hotly debated interpretation of Section 3.

Satisfied with the petitioners' evidence allegedly implicating Trump in insurrection and having retroactively applied Section 3 to the Republican president, Porter determined that the petitioners' request should have been granted "as they have met their burden by preponderance of the evidence that [Trump's] name should be removed from the ballot."

The Democratic judge then reversed the State Board of Elections' decision, claiming it was "clearly erroneous."

Porter did, however, note that her ruling will likely not be the final say on the matter.


Ron Fein, legal director of the leftist group that represented the petitioners, characterized Porter's decision as a "historic victory."

"Every court or official that has addressed the merits of Trump's constitutional eligibility has found that he engaged in insurrection after taking the oath of office and is therefore disqualified from the presidency," added Fein in a joint statement.

"Judge Porter's reasoned decision contributes to the growing consensus of courts recognizing and condemning Trump's decisive role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol," said Caryn Lederer, the DEI champion serving as attorney for the petitioners. "The decision recognizes the importance of rule of law and upholding the mandate of the U.S. Constitution."

A spokesman for Trump indicated that the Republican front-runner will appeal Porter's ruling.

"The Soros-funded Democrat front-groups continue to attempt to interfere in the election and deny President Trump his rightful place on the ballot," Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, said in a statement. "Today, an activist Democrat judge in Illinois summarily overruled the state's board of elections and contradicted earlier decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions. This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal."

Trump's legal team has until Friday to appeal the decision, just as it has already appealed his disqualification in Maine and Colorado — two states holding primaries Tuesday where the Republican's name is all but ensured to appear on the ballots.

Trump's appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court's decision has already made it to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Feb. 8. Based on the bipartisan skepticism over the Democratic-appointed court's ruling, there's a good chance that the removal will amount to a short-lived exercise in partisan symbolism.

Left-leaning Justice Elena Kagan posed the question earlier this month, "Why should a single state have the ability to make this determination, not only for their own citizens, but for the rest of the nation?"

"It'll come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election," said Justice John Roberts. "That's a pretty daunting consequence."

Justice Brett Kavanaugh stressed that such disqualifications have "the effect of disenfranchising voters to a significant degree."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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