HSPRD Files Objection on Behalf of Illinois Voters to Bar Donald Trump from Ballot 

HSPRD, along with national non-profit Free Speech For People (FSFP) and Illinois election lawyer Ed Mullen, filed an objection today before the Illinois State Board of Elections on behalf of a group of Illinois voters from across the state, challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state’s presidential primary and general election ballot. The objection asks the electoral board to bar Trump from appearing on the state ballot because he filed invalid candidacy papers, attesting he is “qualified” for the presidency when Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies him from holding office.  

Enacted in the wake of the Civil War, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies from public office any individual who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and then engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gives aid or comfort to its enemies. Trump’s involvement in the violent attack on Congress on January 6, 2021, to prevent the certification of democratic election results, disqualifies him from holding any future public office.

The electoral board has heard and decided other challenges to major party presidential candidates based on federal constitutional qualifications. Illinois Supreme Court precedent directs that Illinois electoral boards must evaluate objections that candidates have improperly attested that they meet candidacy qualifications, including those in the Illinois and U.S. Constitutions. The Illinois objectors call on the electoral board to do so based on Section 3’s clear application to Trump’s candidacy.

“Our country faces a crisis in Trump’s bid for reelection. We cannot let a candidate who revels in undermining the rule of law continue his candidacy in clear violation of a constitutional mandate. In Illinois, the electoral board has a mandatory duty to keep unqualified candidates off the ballot. As the growing consensus of legal decisions show, Trump engaged in insurrection; he cannot run for president,” said HSPRD attorney Caryn Lederer.   

The Illinois objectors join voters across the country seeking to uphold constitutional candidacy requirements. Free Speech For People also represents voters in legal challenges to Trump’s eligibility to appear on the ballot in Minnesota, Michigan and Oregon. The state supreme courts of Minnesota and Michigan have ruled solely on state law procedural grounds that Trump will not be barred from the presidential primary ballot, but have left the door open for the challenges to be renewed for the general election. The Oregon challenge is currently pending review before the Oregon Supreme Court.

Both the Colorado Supreme Court and the Maine Secretary of State recently issued rulings that Trump is disqualified from appearing on their state ballots under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Illinois objection is poised to obtain the same result.

HSPRD attorneys representing the objectors include Caryn C. Lederer, Matthew J. Piers, and Justin Tresnowski.

Click here to read the Objection.

Click here to read WBEZ reporting on the Objection.

Click here to read the Law 360 article.

Click here to watch the CBS feature.

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