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Voters seek to have Donald Trump removed from Illinois Primary ballot

Voters work to have Donald Trump removed from Illinois Primary ballot
Voters work to have Donald Trump removed from Illinois Primary ballot 02:55

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A group of Illinois voters wants former President Donald J. Trump removed from the Illinois Primary election in March.

CBS 2's Andrew Ramos reports a petition filed this week asks for a hearing with the Illinois State Board of Elections to keep the former president off the ballot on March 19.

The group – Steven Daniel Anderson, Charles J. Holley, Jack L Hickman, Ralph E Cintron, and Darryl P. Baker – says Mr. Trump is not qualified to hold office because he violated Section 3 of the Constitution's 14th amendment, known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause. The five men are being represented by a voting rights organization called Free Speech for People. 

"Engaged in rebellion"

The petitioners say Mr. Trump "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" for his actions during the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"We have seen Donald Trump tweet. We have seen Donald Trump double down with pride on what happened on January 6 to the extent that the electoral board needs to evaluate," said the group's attorney, Caryn Lederer. 

"If you try to overthrow the government, you cannot then be part of the government. "

The petition follows legal rulings in Colorado and Maine disqualifying the former president from their primary ballots. The Trump campaign is appealing those decisions to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This chaos will continue"

"Tomorrow, you may get more states, and next week, we will get even more," said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller. "This chaos will continue until the court makes a decision. The Supreme Court has to rule on it pretty quickly."

The Illinois petition says the events of Jan. 6 "were an insurrection or a rebellion under Section 3, a violent, coordinated effort to storm the Capitol to obstruct and prevent the Vice President of the United States and United States Congress [from] certifying President Biden's victory, and to illegally extend then-President Trump's tenure in office."

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars a person who has sworn an oath to support the Constitution and later engages in insurrection against it from holding federal or state office. The provision has seldom been used in modern times, but it became the centerpiece of legal challenges to Trump's candidacy this year as he mounted a bid for a second term in the White House.

In Michigan, the state supreme court rejected a bid from a group of voters to remove Trump from the primary ballot. In Minnesota, the state's high court dismissed a case on behalf of several voters regarding the primary vote. In both cases, voters are not precluded from pursuing their challenges before the general election.  

According to Lawfare, there are pending cases in 14 other states challenging Trump's candidacy. 

The Illinois State Board of Elections had yet to set the petition for hearing, spokesperson Matt Dietrich told the Associated Press. The board is set to hear 32 other objections to the proposed ballot at its Jan. 11 meeting.  

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