In a resounding triumph, former President Donald Trump expressed his gratitude and affection for Illinois following a decisive 8-0 ruling by the Illinois State Board of Elections, as reported by Trending Politics.
The board’s unanimous decision to keep Trump on the state’s primary ballot was significant, coming just a week before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to deliberate on Trump’s eligibility for the presidency in light of the events of January 6.
Trump took to Truth Social to celebrate the decision, thanking the Illinois State Board of Elections for shielding the country from “Radical Left Lunatics.” He stressed the unanimous nature of the vote and reiterated his affection for Illinois in his signature, forthright style.
The ruling emerged against the backdrop of a retired judge and Republican hearing officer suggesting that Trump might be constitutionally barred from running for president due to allegations of “engaged in insurrection.” Despite the findings, the board deferred the final decision to the courts.
Republican Judge Clark Erickson, in his advisory to the board, highlighted the limitation of the Elections Board in performing extensive constitutional analysis, as set by the Illinois Supreme Court precedent. Erickson, however, opined that if the board viewed its jurisdiction differently, they should consider removing Trump from the ballot.
“The evidence shows that President Trump understood the divided political climate in the United States,” Judge Erickson wrote, saying that Trump “exploited that climate for his own political gain by falsely and publicly claiming the election was stolen from him, even though every single piece of evidence demonstrated that his claim was demonstrably false.”
On Tuesday, Adam Merrill, a lawyer representing the former president, countered Erickson’s decision. “Trump did not engage in insurrection, as that term is used in the Constitution,” he said.
“It is a complicated legal term that has been rarely interpreted, and it wasn’t even articulated correctly by the hearing officer in this case and, frankly, never should have reached it because of the lack of evidence, and because of the lack of jurisdiction,” Merrill continued.
The upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, set for February 8, will address the interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for the first time. This Amendment, established in 1868, aims to prevent those who have partaken in insurrection from holding office. The court’s decision is poised to have far-reaching implications, potentially influencing Trump’s eligibility and setting a precedent for similar future cases.
The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling declaring Trump ineligible has sparked debates and legal challenges. In Maine, Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows also determined Trump violated the 14th Amendment, but her decision awaits the Supreme Court’s verdict.
The controversy extends beyond Trump, with Republicans in Congress arguing that such rulings undermine their constitutional powers. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment will thus have significant political and legal ramifications.
Concurrently, the primary season advances with Trump maintaining a significant lead among Republicans, despite ongoing challenges to his eligibility in over 15 states. The Supreme Court will also review a ruling against three protestors accused of obstructing the certification of Electoral College votes, a case closely linked to accusations against Trump by the Biden Justice Department’s special counsel Jack Smith.