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Illinois effort to keep Trump off ballot is over after U.S. Supreme Court ruling

U.S. Supreme Court ruling ends Illinois effort to remove Trump from ballot
U.S. Supreme Court ruling ends Illinois effort to remove Trump from ballot 02:52

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of former President Donald Trump on Monday, halting efforts from groups in several states, including Illinois, to remove him from the ballot over claims he incited the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

The team trying to remove Mr. Trump from the ballot in Illinois is out of options legally. When a Cook County judge last week ruled to remove Mr. Trump, she leaned heavily on a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court, which disqualified Trump in that state.

So when the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Colorado ruling Monday, the ruling also meant the end of the road for the effort in Illinois.

The Supreme Court did not evaluate whether the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, amounted to an insurrection or whether the former President engaged in insurrection.

The Court said state courts can disqualify those seeking state-level office but not federal ones, especially the presidency. Only the U.S. Supreme Court itself can do that. The justices were not deciding that question; they were only deciding the role of state courts in the matter.  

"We are disappointed that the Supreme reached a different conclusion," said Caryn C. Lederer, attorney for the Illinois objectors.

Lederer led the legal charge in Illinois to remove Mr. Trump's name from ballots here. She said the ruling essentially stops the Illinois objectors in their tracks.

"For ballot removal, that would require congressional action at this point," said Lederer, "and the voters also can speak with their votes."

Mr. Trump cheered the decision, speaking from his South Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.

"You cannot take somebody out of a race," Mr. Trump said. "The voters can take a person out of the race very quickly, but the court shouldn't be doing that, and the Supreme Court saw that."

It was a unanimous vote from the justices. But Trump appointee - Justice Amy Coney Barrett - raised some eyebrows.

She wrote: "…[T]he Court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine Justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home."

On cable news this weekend, Gov. JB Pritzker said:  "We want [Trump] on the ballot, frankly, because he's a detriment to Republicans across the United States - but especially in Illinois."

Trump has also claimed the criminal cases against him should be tossed because he has presidential immunity. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on that issue. 

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