Presidential Candidate De La Fuente Challenges Constitutionality of California Law Requiring Trump’s Tax Returns
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a California native and candidate for the 2020 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Southern District of California challenging California Senate Bill 27, or the so called “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” signed into law on July 30 by Governor Gavin Newsom.
De La Fuente, who is challenging President Trump for the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination, said, “all Republicans must stand united in demanding that state officials be held to account when they threaten fundamental rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.”
California’s law would require presidential candidates to file their 5 most recent tax returns in order to appear on California’s presidential primary election ballot. In his pleadings, De La Fuente argues that this violates the Qualifications Clause of Article II, section 1, clause 5 of the United States Constitution and federal statutory law which guarantees that federal income tax returns remain confidential. He also argues that this violates the First Amendment guarantee that state governments cannot force speech, even of political candidates.
De La Fuente, who prevailed in lawsuits against other states relating to unconstitutional ballot access laws and regulations during his independent bid for President in 2016 says, “If voters want a candidate to release their tax returns, voters are free to withhold their vote from candidates who do not. Personally, as a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for President, I will be releasing my last 5 years of tax returns voluntarily. However, California’s requirement to make federal income tax returns public as a condition of ballot access is unconstitutional. It is not a valid ‘ballot access’ restriction, because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the proper regulation of the ballot, such as preventing frivolous candidates from appearing, or to ensure that elections are conducted in an orderly manner.”
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