Judge sides with Trump & blocks release of his tax returns

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A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking a California state law that requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr., a Bush-appointed judge, said he would issue a final ruling in the coming days but took the unusual step of issuing the tentative order from the bench. He said there would be “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other candidates from the law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July.

The judge is right. There would be irreparable harm. If the tax returns were released first, it would almost make the court case irrelevant.

Trump sued in August to block implementation of Senate Bill 27. His attorneys told the judge the California law would unfairly force the president to give up his right of privacy to keep his tax returns confidential in order to participate in the March 2 statewide primary.

The LA Times reported:

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said he would issue a final ruling in the coming days but took the unusual step of issuing the tentative order from the bench. He said there would be “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other candidates from the law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July.

Morrison spent much of the court proceeding on the question of whether a longstanding federal financial disclosure law preempts any additional rules that a state could impose.

The federal law, known as the Ethics In Government Act, or EIGA, was originally passed in 1978 and applies to a range of top federal officials. Trump has filed the annual report, most recently in May, which provides an overview of his finances.

“Do we even need to get here if EIGA preempts [the new California law]?,” England asked attorneys for the state. “Is that it?”

The LA Times also quoted Thomas McCarthy, an attorney representing the president, telling the judge the U.S. Constitution sets out rules for running for the nation’s highest office that are “fixed and unalterable” by individual states. He said California voters may have an interest in a presidential candidate’s tax returns, but the state “cannot try to inform” voters beyond the basic information.

Several states have passed similar laws but California law is the only one that passed a law that could directly impact the 2020 election. This law was only passed to harass President Trump. The House Democrats want the tax returns for their fishing expedition.


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