L.A. Times: California’s Fight for Trump’s Tax Returns a Waste of Public Resources

U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England Jr. was right to block California’s blatantly partisan new law forcing presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns as a condition of appearing on the state’s primary ballot.

In a written ruling issued Tuesday, England said that the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” is unconstitutional in several ways. It violates the presidential qualifications clause and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and it deprives voters of their First Amendment right to associate with and vote for the candidates of their choice, among other shortcomings. Furthermore, England noted that the argument on which the law was predicated — that presidential candidates have been releasing their returns routinely for five decades — is disingenuous, given that several of them have chosen not to do so. That includes former California Gov. Jerry Brown when he sought the Democratic nomination in 1992 and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000. …

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