Trump is appealing a judge's decision to remove his name from the Illinois primary ballot

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump are appealing a Cook County judge's decision ordering election officials to remove the Republican's name from Illinois' March 19 primary ballot.

The appeal, filed minutes before midnight Thursday, came hours after Judge Tracey Porter issued her decision. He adjourned it until Friday to allow an expected appeal.

Jan. 6, 2021, an Illinois caucus is trying to remove Trump from the primary ballot over his handling of the attack on the US capitol. The committee unanimously rejected his bid and appealed the Election Commission's decision. Voters affiliated with Free Speech for the People, a national voter advocacy group, argued that Trump is unfit to hold office because they say he encouraged and did little to prevent Capitol riots.

The lawsuit is one of dozens filed across the country to remove Trump from the ballot, arguing that he is ineligible because of a rarely used clause in the 14th Amendment that prohibits holding “seditious persons” in office. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled it was likely to reject the efforts, based on comments the justices made during an appeal of Trump's removal from the ballot in Colorado. Like the Illinois decision, the Colorado ruling is on hold pending an appeal.

Trump's lawyers also filed a motion earlier Thursday that clarified how long the stay should be. They declined to comment Thursday.

In his 38-page ruling, Porter wrote that the Board of Elections' decision was “clearly erroneous” because they should have granted Illinois voters' request to remove Trump from the ballot.

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“This is a historic victory,” Ron Fine, legal director and co-chief counsel at Free Speech for the People, said after the ruling.

In an earlier statement, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung called the Illinois decision “an unconstitutional ruling that we will soon appeal.”

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