The Illinois Board of Elections made a significant decision on Tuesday, allowing Donald Trump to be included on the state’s Republican primary ballot. The board opted not to delve into the question of Trump’s eligibility based on the 14th Amendment, which could have potentially raised issues related to his involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
Trump, characteristically, took to his Truth Social network to revel in the decision, criticizing what he called “radical left lunatics” and expressing his love for Illinois.
Representing the objectors, Matthew Piers voiced disappointment with the board’s ruling and announced their intention to appeal. If the appeal proceeds, it could elevate the case to the Illinois Supreme Court, currently under Democratic control.
The Illinois Board of Elections rejected objections asserting that Trump should be disqualified from the ballot due to his alleged role in inciting violence at the Capitol. Objectors cited the 14th Amendment, which allows barring individuals from holding public office if they have been involved in insurrection or rebellion.
The board, composed of four Democrats and four Republicans, surprised many by unanimously supporting the recommendation of hearing officer Clark Erickson, a former Republican Judge. Erickson agreed with the objectors that Trump had engaged in “insurrection” but suggested that the board should not determine the constitutionality of his ballot inclusion.
In an intriguing turn, Republican board member Catherine McCrory, appointed by Democratic Governor JB Pritzker, acknowledged Trump’s involvement in the insurrection but believed it wasn’t within the board’s purview to rule on it.
Despite voting to keep Trump on the ballot, McCrory expressed her conviction that Trump had manipulated, instigated, aided, and abetted the insurrection on January 6th.
Interestingly, the challenges to President Joe Biden were swiftly dismissed without any deliberation. Attorney Michael Kasper, a familiar face in Illinois Democratic circles representing Biden, drew a lighthearted moment from the board.
Kasper humorously remarked that when he initially took on the Biden case, he realized it was the same case he had represented President Clinton for 18 years ago. Later, upon checking his files, he corrected himself, realizing it was actually 28 years ago. The board shared a chuckle over the passage of time in Mr. Kasper’s legal career.