California is trying to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. President Trump and his legal team have responded in Federal Court.
Today on the broadcast, we discussed the President’s legal action against the State of California’s recently enacted “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” that would require gubernatorial and presidential candidates to release 5 years of their tax returns in order to be included on the State’s primary ballot.
This is a desperate, illegal attempt by the Left to keep the President off of California’s primary ballot. The strategy being if a candidate isn’t on the primary ballot, they can’t win the primary, and therefore they won’t appear on the State’s Presidential ballot.
President Trump, represented by my dad Jay Sekulow, and the RNC filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge California’s unconstitutional new law.
Individual states don’t have the power to place conditions on presidential candidates. The Constitution determined the requirements a long time ago:
It’s pretty simple. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say “provide five years worth of tax returns.”
This is simply more presidential harassment. The Left is desperate to block President Trump from a second term whatever it takes.
At the ACLJ, we recently posted a legal analysis of this bill explaining why the law is completely unconstitutional.
California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom approved Senate Bill 27, the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act (SB 27). The Act requires presidential candidates to publicly disclose five years’ worth of income tax returns, with an added urgency clause specifically aimed at forcing President Trump to release his returns before the 2020 election.
This is not the first time that California has tried this undisguised political gambit. In 2017, the California Legislature approved Senate Bill 149, a bill that was nearly identical to the current bill. It was vetoed by then-Governor Jerry Brown on the grounds that the law was in fact, likely unconstitutional. Brown was right.
This bill is unlawful for at least three reasons:
- It makes access to the state presidential ballot conditional on voluntary disclosure, imposing unlawful additional substantive qualifications for the presidency in violation of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent;
- It violates federal statutory tax law, and would therefore be preempted; and
- Adding insult to injury, the bill also violates the California State Constitution.
There are very serious laws around tax records. They are highly protected by both the Federal and State governments, to offer as much privacy and security as possible. It seems likely the court will agree that this bill is indeed unconstitutional and sets a terrible precedent.
As my dad, who represents the President in his private capacity, stated:
"Today we have taken decisive action in federal court challenging California’s attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution. The issue of whether the President should release his federal tax returns was litigated in the 2016 election and the American people spoke. The effort to deny California voters the opportunity to cast a ballot for President Trump in 2020 will clearly fail. Legal scholars from across the political spectrum have roundly condemned this flagrantly illegal statute. We are confident the courts will as well.”
You can listen to the full episode here.
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