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Retired Republican Judge Argues Trump Should Not Appear on Illinois Primary Ballot – HotAir

A retired Illinois judge said that Donald Trump’s name should be removed from that state’s primary ballot. He argues that Trump engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol and is disqualified under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats, right? It’s irritating to read that a judge wants to take the former president’s name off a primary ballot but for it to be a Republican judge who wants to deny primary voters a voice, it is doubly irritating.

The Republican judge in this case is former Kankakee County Judge Clark Erickson. He was acting as hearing officer on voters’ challenges to Trump’s eligibility on Friday. His recommendation to the Illinois State Offices Electoral Board was to remove Trump’s name. The board is made up of an even split between Republicans and Democrats.

Illinois citizens trying to keep Trump’s name off the primary ballot and Trump’s attorneys argued before Erickson on Friday. The Illinois State Officers Electoral Board is scheduled to consider the recommendation Tuesday. Erickson’s recommendation is 21 pages long. He concludes a “preponderance of the evidence” proves that Trump was involved in insurrection on January 6.

Erickson said the election board isn’t able to analyze the constitutional issue required to remove Trump’ name before the Illinois primary on March 19. He reasoned that the decision would be left to the courts. He went on to compare the board’s attempt to resolve the constitutional question to “scheduling a two-minute round between heavyweight boxers in a telephone booth.” Yeah. The judge sounds like a jerk. Erickson went on to say that even if the board disagrees with his argument, the former president’s name should still be removed. What’s the point of having a board if their decisions aren’t respected?

One group that is leading the ballot effort had to tamp down the former judge’s arrogant opinion. Their statement was very accommodating to the board. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right?

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the statement:

Judge Erickson is the first Republican judge anywhere in the country to find that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and is disqualified from office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Electoral Board is scheduled to vote on the judge’s recommendation on Tuesday in the case, which a diverse group of Illinois voters initiated on January 4, 2024, challenging Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state’s presidential primary and general election ballot.

“This decision by a Republican judge that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and is disqualified from office under the Constitution is highly significant,” said Ron Fein, Legal Director of Free Speech For People, which serves as co-lead counsel in the matter, along with Illinois co-counsel Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym and Illinois election lawyer Ed Mullen. “We expect that the Board and ultimately Illinois courts will uphold Judge Erickson’s thoughtful analysis of why Trump is disqualified from office, but–with the greatest respect–correct him on why Illinois law authorizes that ruling.”

So, Illinois is joining the list of states who are trying to deny Trump a spot on its state’s primary ballot. The board will meet Tuesday morning to make its decision.

In the Colorado case, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next month. Maine has put its case on hold until the Supreme Court rules in the Colorado case. The Supreme Court will have its first look at a provision in the 14th Amendment that bars those who “engaged in insurrection” from public office.

Trump has not been charged with insurrection anywhere. I have no doubt that if somewhere along the line, a federal prosecutor or some other judicial official though they could prove such a charge, it would have been made already. Trump has had the book thrown at him in four different cases and received 91 indictments. If something was there with the insurrection claim, it would have shown up by now.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow in Illinois.

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