Former President Donald Trump has scored a big win in Illinois as the state’s board of elections has decided to allow him to remain on the Republican primary ballot. In classic Trump fashion, he took to his social media platform of choice, Truth Social, to express his gratitude. “Thank you to the Illinois State Board of Elections for ruling 8-0 in protecting the Citizens of our Country from the Radical Left Lunatics who are trying to destroy it,” Trump wrote. He also couldn’t resist injecting a bit of his signature self-praise: “The VOTE was 8-0 in favor of keeping your favorite President (ME!), on the Ballot. I love Illinois. Make America Great Again!”
This decision comes after an attempt by the group Free Speech for the People to have Trump thrown off the ballot, claiming that he was involved in an “insurrection” on January 6, 2021. The board rejected this attempt based on a question of its authority to make such a decision. After a two-hour hearing on the matter, hearing officer Clark Erickson recommended that Trump stay on the ballot even if he was part of an insurrection, as he believes the Election Code is not suited for constitutional analysis. Erickson humorously compared the process to a two-minute boxing match between heavyweight boxers in a telephone booth.
Trump Celebrates After State Elections Board Unanimously Rules in His Favor pic.twitter.com/sEIrK4M48G
— The Liberty Loft (@thelibertyloft) January 30, 2024
Naturally, Trump’s attorney, Adam Merrill, pushed back against Erickson’s finding, arguing that the former president did not engage in insurrection and that the term is rarely interpreted and was not even articulated correctly in this case. Trump’s foes have made multiple attempts to bar him from state ballots using the 14th Amendment, and the battle continues. On February 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding a ruling from Colorado that took Trump off the ballot. In Massachusetts, advocates for preventing Trump from appearing on the ballot also pressed their case. However, a ruling on an emergency appeal was rejected, with Associate Justice Frank M. Gaziano stating that the issue of Trump’s eligibility would only become ripe if he became his party’s nominee for President. The anti-Trump group plans to appeal this decision to the state’s full Supreme Court. It’s clear that Trump’s foes will leave no stone unturned in their attempt to keep him off the ballot, but so far, the former president is holding strong.