Dems Push to Block Trump From 2020 Ballot Until His Tax Returns Are Released
lawmakers in California, Washington, and New Jersey weigh up blocking the President
Democratic lawmakers in California, Washington, and New Jersey are weighing up measures to block President Donald Trump from the 2020 presidential election ballot unless he releases his tax returns.
The state’s Democratic-controlled Senate in Washington passed a bill March 12 requiring candidates for president and vice president to disclose their most recent tax returns.
The new tax return disclosure requirement was part of the House Democrats’ wide-ranging election reform bill, which rejected the motion to condemn illegal immigrant voting.
The bill, known as H.R. 1, passed on a party-line vote of 234-193.
But the H.R. 1 is not assumed to take a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
During the 2016 presidential election, Trump exercised his legal right to keep his tax returns private.
But following the election, 25 states introduced bills that would require candidates to disclose their tax returns to appear on the federal election ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
But none of the bills became law, as some s called for a candidate’s most recent tax return, while other required tax returns dating back up to 10 years.
“Nearly every bill has been introduced by Democrats, in reaction to President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns as per the custom of previous presidential candidates,” NCSL’s Dan Diorio wrote in a legislative review.
“Many require that the returns be redacted and posted publicly for inspection.”
According to The Epoch Times: Diorio pointed out that the trend is similar to 2011 and 2012 when Republicans in eight states proposed bills requiring presidential candidates to release copies of their long-form birth certificates to appear on the ballot.
This year, bills requiring presidential candidates to publicly release tax returns have failed in the New Hampshire and Mississippi state legislatures.
In New Hampshire, the House of Representatives considered a pair of such bills “inexpedient to legislate.”
In Mississippi, a similar bill died in committee on Feb. 9.
In Washington, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and state Solicitor General Noah Purcell told the sponsors of the bill that it would likely be constitutional but warned that it is open to legal challenges because of the wide range of interpretations of the law.
Presidents usually release their tax returns either before the election or after winning. Trump explained that his returns couldn’t be released since they are being audited.
Every U.S. citizen has a right to keep his or her tax return private. Returns can only be released with approval from the commissioner of the IRS.
The Washington state bill will likely be challenged in court if it becomes law. Republicans have said that any attempt to force Trump to release his tax returns would be unlawful.