Federal judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against a California state law that requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns to appear on the primary ballot.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report MORE's lawyers and the Republican National Committee had challenged the law.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr., a George W. Bush appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, said there would be "irreparable harm without temporary relief" for Trump and other candidates if he did not make the rare temporary decision to block the law, The Los Angeles Times reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

The California law, which was signed by Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia mayor promises no-tolerance policy after YouTube star Jake Paul hosts party amid coronavirus Restaurant industry calls for targeted relief as indoor dining shuts down The Memo: New shutdowns add to Trump woes MORE (D), requires candidates for president or governor to provide five years of federal tax returns to appear on the state's primary ballot.

The judge's decision came after a hearing on Thursday in Sacramento on consolidated arguments made in five lawsuits over the California law. During the hearing, England focused on the issue of whether a federal financial disclosure law preempts states from imposing additional rules, the Times reported.

A lawyer for California argued that different states already have different rules for their primary elections, while a lawyer for Trump argued that the U.S. Constitution established rules for running for president that states cannot alter, according to the Times.

Trump attorney Jay SekulowJay Alan SekulowDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Trump complains of 'political prosecution' after SCOTUS rulings on financial records Appeals court rejects Trump effort to throw out emoluments case MORE praised the judge's decision.

“We are encouraged that the federal court has tentatively concluded that a preliminary injunction should be granted. We look forward to the court’s written order," he said in a statement. "It remains our position that the law is unconstitutional because states are not permitted to add additional requirements for candidates for president, and that the law violated citizens’ 1st Amendment right of association."

The injunction will likely be appealed by state officials.

Trump is the first president in decades who hasn't voluntarily released any of his tax returns. He has said he won't do so while he's under audit, though the IRS has said that audits don't prevent people from releasing their tax information.

Trump has filed many lawsuits in an effort to prevent his tax returns from being disclosed. Earlier on Thursday, he filed a lawsuit to block a subpoena the Manhattan District Attorney's Office issued to his accounting firm for his tax returns and other financial records.

Updated at 5:49 p.m.

Morgan Chalfant contributed.