The California state Senate on Thursday approved a bill to require candidates appearing on the presidential primary ballot — including President Trump — to release five years’ worth of income tax returns.
The measure was approved in a 27-10 vote, according to The Associated Press. California, for the first time, will be one of the first states to hold its presidential primary in the 2020 cycle.
The bill is a response to Trump’s insistence that he will not release his tax returns as presidential candidates traditionally have done, claiming he is under audit. If the bill becomes law and Trump does not release his returns, he may not appear on the California primary ballot.
"We believe that President Trump, if he truly doesn’t have anything to hide, should step up and release his tax returns,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire (D) who co-authored the bill, according to the AP.
All 10 Republicans in the state Senate voted against the bill’s passage.
Hurray for CA. I believe the only way out of this mess lies with the states. From keeping Trump off the ballot to voting for a Constitutional Convention to get an amendment banning corporate money in elections, the states hold the power.
Sweet! We’re gonna see the tax returns for EVERY Congress representative and every Californian senator! Otherwise, this bill would be COMPLETELY unconstitutional… thanks for giving Trump supporters everything we wanted! Cheers, Swallowswell, Harris, Pelosi, Feinstein, etc
No state can legally keep a qualified candidate off the ballot, the qualifications are set forth in The Constitution Of The United States Of America. Every lawyer that stayed awake through most of law school knows this. Its just a stunt, all hat no cattle.
Trump filled out a financial disclosure form in 2015, which is required for presidential candidates.
In 1976, Congress passed legislation making tax returns confidential and prohibiting disclosure of taxpayer information without the taxpayer’s consent.
The Congressional Research Service said the law—Section 6103—was passed because of revelations that President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 over the Watergate scandal, sought to use tax return information for “improper purposes.”
In a prior Supreme Court ruling, in the 1957 case of Watkins v. U.S., the majority held that the House Un-American Activities Committee did not have the “power to expose [private information] for the sake of exposure.” That was particularly true regarding the “private affairs” of individuals.
However, it would still likely be a matter the Supreme Court would have to eventually decide, given the context of a congressional subpoena in the course of oversight of the executive branch, Levey said.
“The Supreme Court takes interest in separation-of-powers arguments,” Levey said. “This is not something the administration will give up on, nor will the Democrats accept any compromise. So, it won’t be settled in any way. It has the hallmarks for a Supreme Court case.”
Trump’s holdings are so wide spread, it would be effortless to come up with some kind of tax return. Then when a return is produced, it will be contested; and another few years of tax payer money will be flushed down the toilet attempting to disprove any returns that may be produced; even if they are spot on. This is ridiculous. Throw em a bone President Trump; but you’ll be damned if you do & damned if you don’t. The inmates are running the asylum.