Judge Rules Against California on Tax Return Requirement

Judge Rules Against California on Tax Return Requirement September 22, 2019

California is one of several states who have either passed or are considering laws that require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be on the presidential ballot. A federal judge has ruled against that law, but has yet to release a full ruling explaining it.

A federal judge has sided with the Trump campaign’s request to halt a California law that’s aimed at forcing the president to release his tax returns.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said Thursday that he’ll issue a formal ruling by Oct. 1.

The ruling marks a major victory for Trump, who is fighting multiple Democratic-led efforts to force him to reveal the returns. California is expected to appeal.

The Trump campaign and Republican parties have sued over the law requiring candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the March 2020 primary ballot…

Lawyers for Trump and Republicans argue that it violates the U.S. Constitution by adding an additional requirement to run for president. They also said a federal law requiring presidents to disclose financial information supersedes state law.

Quite frankly, Trump’s attorneys are almost certainly right about this. The key precedent involved a state law that added additional requirements to the appearance of Congressional candidates on primary ballots, a case in which the Supreme Court struck down that law on the basis of a nearly identical argument to the one Trump’s attorneys are making. When the full ruling is released, I expect it to reflect the reasoning of that earlier ruling. I think it’s highly unlikely that this and similar laws will be upheld by the courts.

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