A federal judge today granted a temporary injunction to block California’s recently signed legislation that requires presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times
, U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said a final ruling in the case would be coming in the next few days but there would be “irreparable harm without temporary relief.”
The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act
was challenged within days of its July 30 signing by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who at the time said that “states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence.”
Judicial Watch, a self-described “conservative, non-partisan educational foundation” that “promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law,” was the first to sue
. That action was quickly followed by President Donald Trump and his campaign and the Republican state and national parties, which filed two separate lawsuits.
North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire McGuire, who co-authored the legislation with Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, described England’s ruling as “perplexing, premature and not necessary.”
“We’re way out in front of any deadline required under the law and the irreparable harm argument is simply not apparent,” McGuire said in a statement released by his office. “I think the judge got this one wrong and a decision as important as this should not have been rushed or the law prematurely shut down.
“We will always believe transparency is the foundation of accountability in government.”
Under Senate Bill 27, presidential hopefuls and gubernatorial candidates would be required to produce “copies of every income tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service in the five most recent taxable years with the Secretary of State, at least 98 days prior to the corresponding primary election.”
Attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon, who represented the Republican National Committee, California Republican Party and “three Trump-supporting Republican voters” greeted today’s action as a “victory” for the “First Amendment, the rule of law, and for all citizens who want to cast their vote for the qualified presidential candidate of their choice without malicious interference from state legislatures.”
He went on to describe S.B. 27’s requirements as an attempt by those who dislike Trump to “cheat to keep him off the ballot.”
“California is sure to waste more taxpayer dollars appealing this very sensible ruling, but for today, the Constitution and President Trump won," Dhillon said in the statement.
Read the release from attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon below:
Sacramento — Managing Partner of the Dhillon Law Group Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) representing plaintiffs Republican National Committee, California Republican Party, and three Trump-supporting Republican voters in Melendez et al. v. Newsom et al., issued the following statement regarding U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr.'s ruling granting preliminary injunctions barring California's Senate Bill 27, which required that presidential candidates publicly release their last five years of tax filings to be allowed on the California primary election ballot.
"Today was a clear victory for the First Amendment, the rule of law, and for all citizens who want to cast their vote for the qualified presidential candidate of their choice without malicious interference from state legislatures such as California's that are so obsessed with President Trump that if they can’t beat him fair and square, they’ll cheat to keep him off the ballot, even at the expense of disenfranchising millions of Americans. California is sure to waste more taxpayer dollars appealing this very sensible ruling, but for today, the Constitution and President Trump won."
For more information on the lawsuit, click here: https://www.dhillonlaw.com/rnc-ca-gop-republican-voters-v-gavin-newsom/