Illinois Judge Rules 14th Amendment Disqualifies Trump from 2024 Primary

Landmark ruling shakes up 2024 presidential race dynamics

by Zain ul Abedin
Illinois Judge Rules 14th Amendment Disqualifies Trump from 2024 Primary
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

In a groundbreaking decision emanating from Cook County, Illinois, a judge ruled on Wednesday that the "insurrection clause" of the 14th Amendment precludes former President Donald Trump from appearing on the Republican primary ballot for the 2024 presidential election.

This pivotal judgment challenges a previous January finding by the Illinois State Board of Elections, which had declared Trump eligible to run. The ruling, delivered by Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter, immediately suspended her order until March 1, in anticipation of an appeal to higher judicial authorities in Illinois.

This decision has ignited a fierce legal battle, with a representative for Trump denouncing the judgment as "unconstitutional" and signalling an imminent appeal. This legal skirmish in Illinois is part of a broader national debate over Trump's eligibility to run for office again, centred around his actions following the 2020 election loss to Joe Biden and leading up to the events of January 6.

The controversy hinges on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, often referred to as the "insurrection clause," which some argue disqualifies individuals who engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. from holding office.

Eligibility Battle Escalates

Advocates for Trump's disqualification, including the watchdog group Free Speech for People and a cohort of Illinois voters, have hailed Judge Porter's decision as a "historic victory." Yet, this is only the latest in a series of disparate rulings across the nation regarding Trump's eligibility under the 14th Amendment, setting the stage for an ultimate resolution by the U.S.

Supreme Court. During a recent, historic hearing before the Supreme Court in the case Trump v. Anderson, the justices voiced scepticism over whether a state has the authority to bar a candidate for federal office from the ballot on grounds of being an "insurrectionist." Judge Porter, in her Wednesday ruling, acknowledged that her decision would be contingent upon the Supreme Court's forthcoming ruling on this contentious issue.

As this legal drama unfolds, it underscores the ongoing national discourse surrounding the integrity of the electoral process and the qualifications for public office, with implications that could reshape the political landscape ahead of the 2024 presidential election.