FACT CHECK: Did A ‘Traffic Court Judge’ Remove Trump From The Illinois Primary Ballot?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on X purports 2024 hopeful and former President Donald Trump was removed from the Illinois primary ballot by Tracie Porter, who currently serves as a traffic court judge.

Verdict: Misleading

Multiple sources, including Forbes, indicate Porter previously served as a traffic court judge in 2021 before being elected to the Cook County Circuit Court in 2022.

Fact Check:

Trump claimed victory in more than 12 states on Super Tuesday and will likely face Democratic incumbent President Joe Biden in the general election in November, according to The Associated Press. Amid Trump’s victory, he received an endorsement from Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, NBC News reported.

“President Trump was removed from the Illinois ballot by a traffic court judge … you heard that correctly,” the X post, viewed over 16,000 times, purports. The post includes a screenshot of Porter, the purported judge who removed Trump from the ballot.

The claim is misleading, however. According to Forbes, Porter served as a traffic court judge in 2021 before being elected as a full-term judge on the Cook County Circuit Court in 2022. Porter’s Ballotpedia page corroborates this claim, indicating that she took office in November 2021, with her current term ending in December 2028.

Likewise, the screenshot included in the X post stems from the Cook County Democratic Party’s website, noting that Porter was sworn in 2021. “Judge Porter was sworn into office on November 12, 2021. Judge Porter currently sits in the Traffic Division in the Richard J. Daley Center in downtown Chicago, where she presides over minor traffic violations and Class A Misdemeanor matters,” the text on the web page reads. The date stamp that appears on the website is April 25, 2022.

Additionally, USA Today also debunked the claim in a Mar. 5 article.

“Since January 2023, Judge Porter sits in the County Department, County Division in the Richard J. Daley Center in downtown Chicago. She was formerly in the Traffic Division, where many new judges start their first assignment. Judge Porter presides over a variety of cases, in the areas of election law, mental health, tax deeds, tax objections, name changes, and civil asset forfeiture,” Porter’s official biography, provided to the outlet via a Cook County Court spokesperson, reads. A spokesperson for the court directed Check Your Fact to the same biography. (RELATED: Fact Checking Trump’s Recent Claim On U.S. Aid To Ukraine)

Porter ordered Trump’s name be removed from Illinois’ Mar. 19 primary ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding office, according to Capitol News Illinois. The order preceded the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent unanimous ruling that Trump cannot be barred from appearing on Colorado’s 2024 primary ballot under the same insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment, Axios reported.

This is not the first time misinformation involving Trump has circulated online. Check Your Fact previously debunked the claim that Trump forgot his wife’s name during a speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter