Group files objection to remove Donald Trump from 2024 ballot in Illinois

Thursday, January 4, 2024
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of Illinois voters have filed an objection to former president Donald Trump's place on the 2024 ballot.

"Free Speech for People" filed the formal objection that could prevent Illinois residents from casting a vote for Trump in the the March primary.

The group of five people from across Illinois who filed the objection believe Trump violated the constitution with his behavior surrounding the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol.

"Trump, incited participated in, gave aid to the insurrection of January 6, he cannot now run for reelection," said Caryn Lederer with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym Law Firm. "He is barred by section three of the 14th Amendment."

Lederer and the nonpartisan voting rights group, "Free Speech for People" represent the five voters.

The insurrection clause that was cited was enacted after the American Civil War.

While Illinois' Election Board must evaluate the objection, legal experts expect the U.S. Supreme Court to eventually hear the issue.

"Two well regarded originalist scholars published an article arguing in the language of originalism that it applied to Donald Trump and that's the way in which a large number of Justices of the Supreme Court speak," said Jonathan Masur, a legal scholar with the University of Chicago Law School

Masur said the case blocking Trump for the ballot will likely be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, given that two states have already kicked Trump off. Justices will be faced with deciding many legal questions, including what defines an insurrection, who engaged in it and does it apply to a former president. However, they may take a safer option.

"The court has a lot of mechanisms for avoiding having to make decisions like that there's something called the political question doctrine," Masur said. "Well, sometimes the court will just say, 'this is a political question and we don't want to touch.'"

Trump has been removed from the ballots in Colorado and Maine, but he has challenged the rulings.

READ MORE | Trump appeals Colorado 14th Amendment election disqualification to US Supreme Court

"The Illinois Republican Party is strictly neutral in the Republican presidential primary," GOP Chairman Don Tracy said in a statement. "We believe the people, not activist courts, should choose who represents them in the White House. This attempt to remove President Trump from the ballot without due process is an anti-democracy attempt to limit the voting rights of Illinois citizens and should be dismissed outright."

Objectors insisted this is not a political issue.

"This is about fundamental principles that are set forth in the U.S. Constitution," Lederer said.
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