U.S. President Donald Trump cannot be forced to disclose his tax returns in order to run for president in California, the state’s high court ruled Thursday. (Courtesy Photo)

State high court strikes down law that would have required Trump to disclose tax returns

The California Supreme Court in San Francisco on Thursday struck down a state law that would have required President Donald Trump to release his tax returns in order to be listed on the state’s primary ballot.

The law enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year would have required all presidential candidates wishing to appear on the primary ballot to disclose five years of income tax returns.

The state high court’s seven justices unanimously ruled that the law conflicts with a state constitutional amendment that mandates that the primary ballot list all “recognized candidates throughout the nation or throughout California.” The amendment was approved by state voters as a reform measure in 1972.

The court ruled in a lawsuit filed by the California Republican Party. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote that the constitutional amendment sets forth “a rule of inclusivity for presidential primary elections that the Legislature cannot contravene.”

While the California high court ruling is the final decision on the state law, two other cases are proceeding in federal courts in Washington, D.C., and New York in which a congressional committee and the Manhattan district attorney are seeking Trump’s tax returns.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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