An Illinois judge is the latest to rule that Trump should be removed from the state's primary ballot. What happens next?

Donald Trump
Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting, Feb. 24. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Donald Trump is appealing a decision from an Illinois judge to remove him from the state’s primary ballot over his alleged involvement with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Illinois is the third state, along with Colorado and Maine, to attempt to boot Trump from the ballot, using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter, a Democrat, issued her ruling on Wednesday after a group of Illinois voters trying to remove Trump’s name from the state ballot sued to counter the State Board of Elections’ rejection of their effort. She put the ruling on hold in anticipation that Trump’s legal team would file an appeal, which they did on Wednesday evening

Porter’s ruling is also likely to be affected by an impending decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Anderson v. Trump case concerning Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from its primary ballot. The high court heard arguments in that case earlier this month.

Here’s what else to know about the Illinois ruling:

🔍 What does the ruling say?

Porter’s ruling agreed with a group of Illinois voters who said Trump violated the so-called insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution and should therefore be disqualified from the presidency and kicked off the ballot. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars a person from public office who previously took an oath to uphold the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Trump, however, has not been explicitly charged with insurrection in any of the four criminal cases in which he has been indicted. The former president argues that Section 3 does not apply to him.

In her ruling, Porter also disagreed with a previous decision by the Illinois State Board of Elections, which found that it didn’t have the authority to remove Trump’s name from the ballot.

Her decision said in part, “The Illinois State Board of Elections 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, according to the procedures within their administrative authority.”

🗳 Is Trump’s name still on the Illinois primary ballot?

Yes. Porter’s ruling is currently on hold until Friday, March 1, meaning Trump’s name will remain on the Illinois ballot at least until then. Porter also acknowledged that Trump’s name would also remain on the ballot if the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Colorado case that is “inconsistent” with her decision.

A Supreme Court ruling in Trump’s favor could also mean his name would also remain on the Maine ballot.

As reported by the New York Times, if the appellate court where Trump filed his appeal does not step in before Friday, it’s not clear what it would mean for Illinois Republican voters for the primary.

➡️ What’s next?

Trump’s appeal asks the Illinois court to reaffirm the State Electoral Board’s decision and to “reverse and vacate” Porter’s Wednesday ruling.

In a separate request dated Wednesday, Trump’s legal team is also asking Porter to extend the hold on the ruling beyond Friday, until the appellate court issues a final order.

The clock is also ticking for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a ruling in the Colorado case, as that state’s primary is on March 5.

During oral arguments earlier this month, the justices seemed to indicate skepticism over Colorado’s decision to keep Trump’s name off the ballot, expressing concern over the national implications of such a move ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

For now, the rulings in Colorado and Maine are currently on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Colorado case, which could come imminently. Until then, Trump’s name will remain on the ballot in both states.