Trump disqualified from Illinois ballots by state judge over insurrection

Donald Trump has been disqualified from appearing on the Republican presidential primary ballot in Illinois over his role in the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.

On Wednesday, Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter sided with voters who argued that the former president should be disqualified from the state’s 19 March primary ballot and the 5 November general election ballot for violating the anti-insurrection clause of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

However, Judge Porter delayed her ruling from taking effect in light of an expected appeal by the former president.

A campaign spokesperson for Trump, the national frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, confirmed the intention in a statement which called the ruling “unconstitutional”.

The outcome of the Illinois case and similar challenges will likely be decided by the US Supreme Court, which heard arguments related to Mr Trump’s ballot eligibility on 8 February. Oral arguments on his “immunity” defence will take place on 22 April – in the middle of a primary election calendar and Mr Trump’s busy schedule of multiple criminal and civil cases.

Following the ruling in Illinois, the advocacy group Free Speech For People, which spearheaded the Illinois disqualification effort, praised the ruling as a "historic victory" in a statement.

Supporters of Mr Trump attacked police and swarmed the Capitol on 6 January 2021 (AP)
Supporters of Mr Trump attacked police and swarmed the Capitol on 6 January 2021 (AP)

Colorado and Maine earlier removed the former president from their state ballots after determining he is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Both decisions are also on hold while Mr Trump appeals.

Section 3 bars from public office anyone who took an oath to support the US Constitution and then has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Supporters of Mr Trump attacked police and swarmed the Capitol on 6 January 2021 in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

The former president gave an incendiary speech to supporters beforehand, telling them to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell." He then for hours did not act on requests that he urge the mob to stop.

The Supreme Court is currently weighing Mr Trump’s challenge to his Colorado disqualification. The justices in Washington appeared sceptical of the decision during oral arguments in the case, expressing concerns about states taking sweeping actions that could affect the national election.

Additional reporting from Reuters.