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Trump stays on Illinois’ ballot as election board declines to ban him over insurrection amendment

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in Las Vegas.

CHICAGO — Illinois’ election board on Tuesday kept former President Donald Trump on the state’s primary ballot, a week before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether the Republican’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol disqualifies him from the presidency.

The board’s unanimous ruling comes after its hearing officer, a retired judge and Republican, found that a “preponderance of the evidence” shows Trump is ineligible to run for president because he violated a constitutional ban on those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. But the hearing officer recommended the board let the courts make the ultimate decision.

That will likely be the case now, with the Supreme Court scheduled next week to hear arguments in Trump’s appeal of a Colorado ruling declaring him ineligible for the presidency in that state.

The nation’s highest court has never ruled on a case involving Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in 1868 to prevent former confederates from returning to office after the Civil War but has rarely been used since then. Some legal scholars say the post-Civil War clause applies to Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and encouraging his backers to storm the U.S. Capitol after he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Dozens of cases have been filed around the country seeking to bar Trump from the presidency under Section 3. The Colorado case is the only one that succeeded in court.

Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State also ruled that Trump violated the 14th Amendment and is no longer eligible for the White House, but her ruling is on hold until the Supreme Court issues a decision.
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Riccardi reported from Denver.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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