Judicial Watch Statement on Ruling Striking Down California’s Attempt to Require Candidates to Disclose Tax Returns
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the preliminary injunction granted at the request of Judicial Watch, President Trump, and other challengers to a new California law that attempted to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns:
California politicians, in their zeal to attack President Trump, passed a law that also unconstitutionally victimizes California voters and the Constitution. A federal court seems to agree and granted our request for a preliminary injunction that stops this scheme from interfering with the 2020 elections.
Under the law, known as the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, candidates who do not publicly disclose their tax returns for the past five years were barred from having their names printed on California’s primary ballots. In its lawsuit challenging the requirement on behalf of four California voters—two Republicans, a Democrat, and an Independent—Judicial Watch argued that SB 27 imposes candidate qualifications beyond those allowed by the U.S. Constitution and impermissibly burdens a voters’ expressive constitutional and statutory rights. The lawsuit claims violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Qualifications Clause, the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 (Jerry Griffin et al. v. Alex Padilla (No. 2:19-cv-01477)).
Senior Attorney Russ Nobile presented arguments today on behalf of Judicial Watch.