Last week, I reported that President Donald Trump will be ineligible for California’s primary ballot next year unless he discloses his tax returns under a state law that just took effect.
As predicted, the President’s team is going to challenge the new rule in court, along with the state and national Republican party.
President Donald Trump, the California Republican Party, and the national GOP joined together Tuesday to sue California over a new tax-return law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last week.
The law requires Trump and other presidential candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns to get their names on the state’s 2020 primary ballot.
Trump has yet to weigh in on the issue himself. His personal attorney Jay Sekulow criticized “California’s attempt to circumvent the constitution.”
“Today we have taken decisive action in federal court challenging California’s attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution,” Sekulow said in a statement. “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.”
The 15-page court filing alleges five counts of illegal action by California officials in enacting the measure.
Trump’s attorneys contend state can only issue “procedural regulations” governing its election for president. Even if the state did have a role, the attorneys wrote, California’s law “does not serve a compelling state interest and, in any event, is not narrowly tailored to that interest.”
National and state Republicans called the California law “a naked political attack against the sitting President of the United States” in their lawsuit. They wrote that SB 27 “effectively disenfranchises voters by denying their right to associate for the advancement of political beliefs and effectively cast a vote for the otherwise qualified candidate of their choosing.”
The defendants in these lawsuits read like a “Who’s Who” of the #Resistance.
Both complaints name California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) as a defendant. The RNC complaint also names Newsom as a defendant, while the Trump campaign names California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) as a defendant in addition to Padilla.
“The Act subverts the franchise for cheap political gain, creates an extra-constitutional qualification for the office of President, and effectively disenfranchises voters by denying their right to associate for the advancement of political beliefs and effectively cast a vote for the otherwise qualified candidate of their choosing,” the Republican complaint argues.
Additionally, Judicial Watch announced it had also filed a lawsuit on behalf of 4 California voters to challenge the law.
The four California voters who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit are: Jerry Griffin, a registered Republican from Los Angeles County; Michelle Bolotin, a registered independent from Los Angeles County; Michael Sienkiewicz, a registered Republican from San Francisco County and James B. Oerding, a registered Democrat from Yolo County.
“California politicians, in their zeal to attack President Trump, passed a law that 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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