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Federal Judge Blocks California Law Aimed at Trump’s Tax Returns — For Now


US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris on November 10, 2018 following bilateral talks with the French President on the sidelines of commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the 11 November 1918 armistice, ending World War I. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the state of California’s controversial tax return law from being implemented, saying that he expected to put a ruling in writing by Oct. 1.

Judge Morrison England Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, a George W. Bush appointee, handed President Donald Trump and his campaign a win by temporarily blocking the law, which would require all presidential and gubernatorial candidates to hand over tax returns to California’s secretary of state at least 98 days before the primary, after which point the records would be available for viewing online (with the exception of certain personal information).

Team Trump promptly sued California over the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill into law on July 30. The law, if implemented, would keep President Trump off of the primary ballot in the state if he does not make public his tax returns.

The preliminary injunction issued by Judge England Jr. comes at a time when the president’s tax returns are being sought in multiple ways.

The California law has been hotly debated and contested, and that will, no doubt, continue to be the case. Even if Trump gets another win when England Jr. rules, that ruling will almost certainly be appealed by the State of California.

The clock is ticking, however. As the Associated Press noted, the law aims to force presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns come November, in order for them to be eligible to run in the state’s March 2020 primary.

For more:

Get Ready for a Fight: Dem Governor Signs Bill to Keep Trump Off Ballot Unless He Releases Tax Returns

The Constitutional Issues With California’s Presidential Tax Return Law

Harvard Law Profs Clash Over California Law Aimed at Trump’s Tax Returns

President Trump Sues California Over Law Requiring Candidates to Disclose Tax Returns

[Image via LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.