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Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to guest at a campaign event on December 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa.Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump has been removed from the Illinois primary ballot, following a ruling from a Democratic Party Cook County judge.

Sort of.

Judge Tracie Porter relied heavily on a Colorado court’s ruling and findings from Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 committee to conclude that Trump must be removed from the ballot for “insurrection.” The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits candidates from holding federal office if they engaged in “insurrection” against the United States.

Porter ruled Trump had “falsely sworn” to being eligible to appear on the Illinois ballot because he had earlier been disqualified from the Colorado ballot. The section about being “legally qualified” to run for the office filed for typically applies to things like residency requirement and age, as Porter noted.

The former president has never been convicted of a crime, including insurrection, and it remains unclear if the Civil War Amendment even applies to the president as an “officer of the United States.”

However, Judge Porter’s ruling is paused pending appeal from Trump’s legal team. It also could be nullified by a still-pending U.S. Supreme Court case. Maine has also moved against Trump, but its decision is pending until the Supreme Court rules.

“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 for him to be suppressed,” Judge Porter ruled yesterday.

The elections board has previously declined to remove Trump from the ballot.

Early voting has already begun in Illinois and mail-in ballots have already been sent out with Trump’s name on it. Anyone voting today will still see Trump’s name on the ballot.

The decision drew criticism from Trump’s team and the Illinois Republican Party, as well as a prominent left-leaning law professor from George Washington University.

“Democrat front-groups continue to attempt to interfere in the election and deny President Trump his rightful place on the ballot,” spokesman Steve Cheung stated.

“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,” Cheung stated. “This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal. In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls, and will Make America Great Again.”

The Illinois Republican Party condemned the decision.

“As we’ve stated repeatedly, the Illinois Republican Party believes the people, not activist courts or unelected bureaucrats, should choose who represents them in the White House,” Chairman Don Tracy stated. “This decision to remove President Trump from the ballot without due process is an affront to democracy and limits the voting rights of Illinois citizens.”

George Washington law Professor Jonathan Turley also criticized the decision. He is a well-known center-left legal scholar who often testifies in front of Congress and regularly comments on Constitutional issues.

“Cook County Judge Tracie Porter just added Illinois to the two other states stripping Trump from the ballot,” Turley wrote. “While wildly popular with people in Cook County (where I was raised), it is also wildly at odds with our democratic values…Rather than wait for the Court to rule, Porter wanted to claim this distinction while giving Trump’s counsel just a couple days to appeal,” he wrote on X.

Other regular opponents of Trump want him allowed on the ballot.

For example, the far-left Washington Post editorial board noted that “Mr. Trump not been convicted of insurrection either by a jury of his peers or from the bench by a judge; he hasn’t even been charged with it,” after Colorado removed Trump from the ballot.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said she believes Trump engaged in “insurrection” but that she “wants to see it resolved at the ballot box,” so as not to raise questions about the “legitimacy” of the 2024 election.

While Democratic activist groups and judges have sought to limit Trump’s access to the ballot, Republican voters have largely coalesced around the former president as the preferred nominee to take on Joe Biden this November. Former opponents Tim Scott, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy have all dropped out of the nomination fight and endorsed Trump.

The former president has won handily in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, and South Carolina. Ambassador Nikki Haley remains in the race despite minimal support and a loss on Saturday in her home state of South Carolina, where she previously served as a state legislator and governor.

The confusion from Porter’s ruling, and the Supreme Court’s delay in issuing a decision, comes as Super Tuesday nears on March 5, just a few days from now. Republicans in 15 states will vote on Tuesday to allocate 865 delegates, half of the total amount. Trump has 122 delegates and needs 1,215 total to cinch the nomination.

Though Haley remains in the race, she continues to lose support. Americans for Prosperity Action, a conservative advocacy group, announced it would no longer be contributing money to support Haley following her loss in South Carolina on Saturday.

“She has made it clear that she will continue to fight and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort,” CEO Emily Seidel told staff in an email. “But given the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don’t believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory.”

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