California has come up with a unique solution to Trump and any future candidate's refusal to release their tax returns. A new passed in the state Senate would require all presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns to get a spot on the primary ballot.
The LA Times reported, “The bill would require presidential candidates to file copies of their income tax returns with state elections officials for the five most recent taxable years. Failure to do so would mean their name wouldn’t appear on California’s presidential primary ballot. The legislation was introduced in December, in the wake of Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. The president has continued to reject calls for the information…..A legislative analysis of SB 149 said some legal scholars believe the plan, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, would pass muster with the U.S. Constitution. Nonetheless, the analysis concluded that it would probably be challenged in court if signed into law.”
It is a certainty that if this legislation becomes law and survives the legal challenge, it will be copied by other states. Republicans love to champion states’ rights. Well, here is a state that is exercising its right to determine the qualifications for a spot on their presidential primary ballot.
The California law could have huge consequences due to the persistent talk of moving up the state’s presidential primary to an earlier spot on the calendar. Republicans in Congress won’t make Trump publicly release his tax returns, so the states are taking matters into their own hands.
Should Trump end up with a serious 2020 primary challenger, laws like the one making its way through the California legislature could have an immense impact on the general election.
Trump can’t hide forever. One way or another, his tax returns are going to come out.