WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The California state law requiring presidential candidates to disclose tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot has been blocked by U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr.
- Five lawsuits have since challenged the said law, arguing that there are already established rules for running for president in the U.S. Constitution, which states cannot alter.
- Judge England explained that there would be “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other candidates if he did not issue a temporary injunction against the law.
A federal judge has blocked a California state law that requires presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
The law had been challenged by President Donald Trump’s lawyers and the Republican National Committee.
U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. declared that there would be “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other candidates if he did not issue a temporary injunction against the law.
The California law was signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Five lawsuits have since challenged the said law.
The arguments in the five lawsuits were consolidated on Thursday’s hearing. Judge England focused on the issue of whether a federal financial disclosure law preempts states from imposing additional rules.
A lawyer for California pointed out that other states already have different rules for their primary elections. But a lawyer for Trump countered that there are already established rules for running for president in the U.S. Constitution, which states cannot alter.
One of Trump’s attorneys, Jay Sekulow, commended the judge for his decision: “We are encouraged that the federal court has tentatively concluded that a preliminary injunction should be granted. We look forward to the court’s written order.”
Sekulow argued, “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 violated citizens’ 1st Amendment right of association.”
State officials are still likely to appeal.
Trump has broken decades of precedence for not voluntarily releasing any of his tax returns. He insisted that he won’t do so while he’s under audit, even though the IRS has said that audits don’t prevent people from releasing their tax information.
Trump has since filed several lawsuits to prevent the disclosure of his tax returns.
Source: The Hill