Judicial Watch Sues Over California Law Aimed at Keeping Trump Off of 2020 Primary Ballot
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four California voters to prevent the state from implementing a new law requiring all presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot.
The lawsuit argues that the law is politically motivated and unconstitutional.
The lawsuit is in response to a new law signed by far left California Governor Gavin Newsom requiring presidential candidate to publicly release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot.
Obviously this law was aimed at keeping Trump off of the 2020 primary ballot since he refuses to publicly release his tax returns.
Democrat candidates such as Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and others have not released their tax returns yet.
Via Judicial Watch:
Under the law, known as the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, candidates who do not publicly disclose their tax returns are barred from having their names printed on California’s primary ballots. Judicial Watch alleges that SB 27 imposes candidate qualifications beyond those allowed by the U.S. Constitution and impermissibly burdens a voters’ expressive constitutional and statutory rights. The lawsuit claims violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Qualifications Clause, the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988.
The Judicial Watch complaint further alleges the political nature of the law, which is totally divorced from the states’ legitimate constitutional role in administering and establishing procedures for conducting federal elections:
None of the interests proffered by the California legislature for requiring the disclosure of candidates’ tax returns is related to election procedure or administration. Rather, the stated interests incorporate particular, substantive judgments about what is most important for voters to know when considering a candidate, how voters should go about “estimate[ing] the risk” of a candidate “engaging in corruption,” and what might assist law enforcement in detecting violations of the Emoluments Clause and crimes “such as insider trading.”
Unless SB 27 is enjoined, states will assume the power to create their own qualifications for national candidates seeking to obtain a party’s nomination for president. This could lead to as many as 50 distinct and possibly inconsistent sets of qualifications regarding the only national election in the United States. Using rationales similar to California’s, states might come to demand medical records, mental health records, sealed juvenile records, driving records, results of intelligence, aptitude, or personality tests, college applications, Amazon purchases, Google search histories, browsing histories, or Facebook friends.
“California politicians, in their zeal to attack President Trump, passed a law that not also unconstitutionally victimizes California voters,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is an obvious legal issue that a state can’t amend the U.S. Constitution by adding qualifications in order to run for president. The courts can’t stop this abusive law fast enough.”
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