California’s Democratic governor signed a law Tuesday requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot, a move aimed squarely at Republican President Donald Trump.
Candidates will be required to submit tax returns for the most recent five years to California’s Secretary of State at least 98 days before the primary. They will then be posed online for the public to view, with certain personal information redacted.
But even if the law withstands a likely legal challenge, Trump could avoid the requirements by choosing not to compete in California’s primary. With no credible GOP challenger at this point, he likely won’t need California’s delegates to win the Republican nomination. While the law is aimed at Trump, it would apply to all presidential contenders and candidates for governor.
With files from the Associated Press.
Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine; he is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation; he tweets @rickhasen
Derek Muller, associate professor of law at Pepperdine University; he tweets @derektmuller