California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed a bill into law that would force President Donald Trump to release his tax returns in order to appear on the state’s ballot in 2020.
Here’s what we know
This new law would require that all candidates in an election for either governor or president to submit the last five years of their tax returns to the state. Politico called this move “legally dubious,” but Newsom and California’s lawmakers argued that they were well within their rights.
“The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement,” Newsom said. He also said that laws like this one “should be a national standard.”
California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson called the bill “clearly unconstitutional” adding, “[d]emocrat leadership in this state continues to put partisan politics first.”
How much could this impact the 2020 election?
Since Trump is already suing congressional Democrats who have tried to subpoena his tax returns, it is unlikely that he would not attempt a legal challenge against this California law.
Even if Trump did not appear on the California ballot, it seems unlikely to sway the election. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the solidly blue state in 2016 with 61.6 percent of the vote compared to 32.8 percent for Trump.
Democrats in Congress have repeatedly demanded that Trump turn over his tax returns. Typically presidential candidates have turned over at least a few years’ worth, but Trump broke with tradition on that front. He has insisted that he is unable to turn over the returns since the IRS has been conducting an audit of his finances.