A federal judge on Thursday sided with President Trump’s request to suspend a California law that requires all presidential candidates to release five years of income tax returns.
A formal ruling will be issued by October 1st, at which time the state of California will decide whether or not to appeal.
If allowed to stand, California’s law would have blocked Trump from appearing on California’s primary ballot (unless he released his tax returns by November 26th).
Opponents of the law worry that Trump’s absence on the primary ballot could lead to a significant reduction in GOP voter turnout even though his name would appear on the general election ballot.
“We are encouraged that the federal court tentatively concluded that a preliminary injunction should be granted,” said Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow. “We look forward to the court’s written order. It remains our position that the law is unconstitutional because states are not permitted to add additional requirements for candidates for president, and that the law violates the Constitution.”
California Democrats claim the law is designed to improve transparency.
“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom (D). “The disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”
So far, none of the Democratic presidential candidates have submitted five years’ worth of their tax returns.
The law is so controversial that even left-wing Jerry Brown (Newsom’s predecessor) refused to sign it when he was governor.
Author’s Note: Trump won the first round, but we can expect this fight to continue. The case will likely end up in the ultra-liberal 9th Circuit; if they reverse the decision, it could land in the Supreme Court.
I expect the Supreme Court to side with Trump, because if they don’t, they will be upholding the right for a state to pass laws aimed at a single candidate – and that’s bad news for Democracy.