California justices reject law requiring Trump tax returns

President Donald Trump does not have to disclose his tax returns to appear as a candidate on California’s primary ballot next spring.

Posted: Nov 21, 2019 10:55 AM
Updated: Nov 21, 2019 10:58 AM

By BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump does not have to disclose his tax returns to appear as a candidate on California’s primary ballot next spring, a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court said the law, the first of its kind in the nation and aimed squarely at Trump, was unconstitutional.

Trump has broken with tradition among presidential candidates by refusing to disclose his financial information.

A U.S. judge had temporarily blocked the state law in response to a different lawsuit, and the high court ruled quickly because the deadline to file tax returns for getting on the primary ballot is next week.

The state Republican Party and chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson challenged the bill signed into law this year by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom because it singled out Trump.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for every California voter,” Patterson said in a statement. “We are pleased that the courts saw through the Democrats’ petty partisan maneuvers and saw this law for what it is — an unconstitutional attempt to suppress Republican voter turnout."

The state defended the law, saying release of tax returns was a simple way for voters to weight candidates’ financial status.

The law would have required candidates for president or governor to file copies of personal income tax returns dating back five years. Refusal to do so would keep them off the state's primary ballot, but not apply to general elections.

Skeptical justices at a hearing earlier this month questioned whether such a law could open the door to future requirements of medical and psychiatric records or school report cards.

Attorney Thomas Hiltachk argued for the state GOP that the law violated a 1972 voter-approved amendment guaranteeing that all recognized candidates must be on the ballot.

Republicans also said it would lower voter turnout in the primary, hurting Republican legislative and congressional candidates’ chances of reaching the general election.

Trump has cited an ongoing Internal Revenue Service audit in refusing to release his returns.

Other courts have ordered Trump to turn over his tax returns to a Manhattan grand jury and the House of Representatives for separate investigations.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to intervene in the demand from a congressional committee or to let a lower appeals court ruling stand that would require disclosure of Trump’s taxes.

Trump has also asked the high court to block a subpoena from a New York prosecutor for his tax returns.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is seeking the records in an investigation that includes alleged payments to buy the silence of adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal, both of whom claim they had affairs with the president before the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied the allegations

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
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Morrow197025
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Sherman1903
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5060048

Reported Deaths: 74129
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152429427102
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581500
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
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Alpine1060
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