The Trump campaign and Republican Party sued California on Tuesday over a new law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to run in the state’s primary.
One of the suits contends California’s law is "a naked political attack against the sitting President of the United States."
The law signed last week by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is aimed at prying loose President Donald Trump’s tax returns, which he has refused to release, saying they are under audit. California’s law requires candidates for president and governor to release five years of tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
It does not include a similar requirement for the general election.
California holds its 2020 presidential primary on March 3.
The lawsuits argue the law violates the U.S. Constitution by creating an extra requirement to run for president and deprives citizens the right to vote for their chosen candidates. The Constitution puts just three requirements on presidential candidates: That they are natural born citizens, 35 or older and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years.
Who’s Running for President in 2020?
The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is packed. Those who have announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and three mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.
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Updated Nov. 20, 2019
Note: Incorrect information about Michael Bennet’s cancer diagnosis and titles for Joe Sestak and William Weld have been revised on July 29, 2019, 3:17 p.m. ET.
Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC; Photos: Getty Images
Trump counsel Jay Sekulow called the law "flagrantly illegal," and said voters already spoke in 2016 on whether Trump should release his tax returns.
"The effort to deny California voters the opportunity to cast a ballot for President Trump in 2020 will clearly fail," said Sekulow.
At least two other lawsuits have already been filed.