BREAKING: Judge orders President Trump removed from ballot in Illinois

The decision comes just before the state's primary election on March 19.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

On Wednesday, an Illinois judge ruled to have former President Donald J. Trump removed from the state's ballot. The decision was made based on the "invasion clause" in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Cook County Judge Tracie Porter put the ruling on hold so Trump can appeal, according to WBEZ Chicago, which means Trump will remain on the ballot until further notice.

In her ruling, Judge Porter said that she knows her "decision could not be the ultimate outcome."

The ruling comes just before the state's primary election on March 19.

"[Porter] has reviewed the extensive body of evidence and determined that he's disqualified from the presidency. That is a critical decision that is adding to decisions in Colorado and Maine on this point," attorney Caryn Lederer, representing the objectors to Trump said.

"What we think is incredibly important about this decision — and one thing that makes it potentially distinct from the United States Supreme Court's review — is that Judge Porter really engaged with the evidence that was presented to her and that was before the electoral board to render a decision about what happened on Jan. 6 and President Trump's involvement," she added.

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, downplayed the decision, attributing it to "an activist Democrat judge in Illinois (who) 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," he said.

The ruling comes as Democrat judges across the US have been removing the GOP frontrunner from state primary election ballots over the past year, citing Trump's alleged role in the Jan. 6 protest at the US Capitol in 2021.

Judges claim that Trump can be removed from the ballot per the "invasion clause" found in paragraph 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that an individual who has been found guilty of "insurrection" is banned from holding office. 

However, Trump has not been charged with insurrection, nor has he been found guilty of participating in an insurrection.

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments from the state of Colorado and Trump's lawyers pertaining to whether or not Colorado has the authority to remove Trump on 14th Amendment violations.

In December, Colorado's Supreme Court, which consists of only Democrat judges, voted to remove Trump from the ballot, which made Colorado the first state in the nation to remove Biden's top political opponent.

For the first time, the High Court debated the scope and meaning of the section in the 14th Amendment that prohibits certain individuals who "engaged in insurrection" from holding public office. It was written after the Civil War to prevent Confederates from holding elected office. A Colorado court that first heard the case said that Trump could remain on the ballot though they claimed he was guilty of insurrection, a crime for which he has not been charged, tried, or convicted. That decision was appealed, and the Colorado Supreme Court decided that Trump was guilty of insurrection, citing the lower court ruling and said he needed to be removed from the ballot.

SCOTUS has not yet issued a formal ruling. Once the justices make a decision, it will lay the framework for whether or not states have the authority to remove Trump from the ballot.

This is a breaking story. Refresh the page for updates.

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