Illinois Judge Who Booted Trump Off Ballot Originally Worked Traffic Court

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


The Illinois judge who arbitrarily decided last week to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on that state’s 2024 ballot has been outed as a jurist with limited prior experience in election and constitutional cases.

According to Forbes, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tracie R. Porter worked briefly as a lawyer for the Office of the Solicitor in the U.S. Department of Labor in the 1990s, then went into private practice and academia before being appointed to “a traffic court position in 2021.”

She only won her election to a full term on the court in 2022, the outlet reported, adding that she appears to be heavy into left-wing politics and policy.

“She has written law review articles on the the school-to-prison pipeline, voter rights and mortgage short sales, according to the Cook County Democratic Party, and her professional associations include the Chicago Bar Association, American Bar Association and Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, where she was a former member of the board of directors,” Forbes added.

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Porter’s ruling comes after the Illinois State Board of Election ruled unanimously in January that Trump could remain on the 2024 ballot. However, five voters represented by the left-wing group Free Speech For People, who lost similar challenges in Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon, appealed to Porter’s court and were successful in getting Trump removed under the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” clause despite the fact that he’s not been charged with that crime much less convicted of it.

Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, said in a statement that they will “quickly appeal.”

“Today, an activist Democrat judge in Illinois summarily overruled the state’s board of elections and contradicted earlier decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions,” Cheung said, calling it an “unconstitutional ruling.”

In her lengthy ruling, Porter wrote that she was aware that her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” given that higher courts will have a chance to weigh in, WBEZ reported.

The arguments made to remove Trump from Colorado’s ballot appear shaky, and the U.S. Supreme Court is ready to rule on the dispute shortly. With Colorado’s primary election taking place on Tuesday, the nation’s highest court is in a race against time.

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito argued last week that Colorado’s prohibition on former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for president is “quite severe” during a hearing to decide whether kicking him off the state’s 2024 ballot under the guise of “insurrection” is constitutional.

During oral arguments before the nation’s highest court last week, Alito queried Trump’s attorney, Jonathan Mitchell, about whether Colorado was attempting to create legislation that could be applied to other states.

“Suppose there is a country that proclaims again and again and again that the United States is its biggest enemy, and suppose that the president of the United States, for diplomatic reasons, thinks it is in the best interest of the United States to provide funds or release funds so that they can be used by that country, could a state determine that person has given aid and comfort to the enemy and therefore keep that person off of the ballot?” Alito asked.

Mitchell responded that Colorado does not follow the legal doctrine of collateral estoppel or issue preclusion, which forbids a party from re-litigating a matter that has already been determined in a previous court case, so it does not establish a precedent for other states.

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For his part, Trump seems certain that the three justices he appointed to the Supreme Court, among others, would rule in his favor, allowing him to remain on the ballot in Colorado.

“We put on three great justices, and you have some other great justices up there, and they’re not going to take the vote away from the people. I’m sure the Supreme Court is going to say, ‘We’re not going to take the vote away from the people,’” Trump said, charging that President Joe Biden is the real “threat to democracy.”

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