President Trump received a victory Thursday when a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against a California law that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. issued the order Thursday, citing the “irreparable harm without temporary relief” that the California law would cause on presidential and gubernatorial candidates. He indicated that a final ruling is forthcoming:
#Breaking: Trump wins round 1 of lawsuit with CA over tax returns. Federal judge issues preliminary injunction.
— Bryan Anderson (@BryanRAnderson) September 19, 2019
Breaking: a federal judge has temporarily blocked implementation of the California election law requiring Trump tax returns.
— John Myers (@johnmyers) September 19, 2019
BREAKING: Federal judge blocks California law to force disclosure of Trump’s tax returns – LA Times
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 19, 2019
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Morrison spent much of the court proceeding on the question of whether a longstanding federal financial disclosure law preempts any additional rules that a state could impose.
The federal law, known as the Ethics In Government Act, or EIGA, was originally passed in 1978 and applies to a range of top federal officials. Trump has filed the annual report, most recently in May, which provides an overview of his finances.
“Do we even need to get here if EIGA preempts [the new California law]?,” England asked attorneys for the state. “Is that it?”
England seemed to suggest there could be reasons to rein in electoral rules that left presidential candidates scrambling to provide different information based on the state in question.
“Wouldn’t that create a hodgepodge of laws around the country?” he asked.
The news follows Trump’s lawyers filing a lawsuit on the president’s behalf in the U.S. District Court in New York Thursday against the accounting firm Mazars USA and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Vance issued a subpoena demanding the release of eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization and the “hush-money” payments made by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
“In response to the subpoenas issued by the New York County District Attorney, we have filed a lawsuit this morning in Federal Court on behalf of the President in order to address the significant constitutional issues at stake in this case,” Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement Thursday.