As the 2020 election starts to come into focus, with Democrats lining up (20 so far) to challenge for the Democratic nomination, it’s beginning to look like the incumbent, President Donald Trump, may not even appear on many ballots across the country, Salon reports:
“Nearly twenty states across the county have introduced legislation that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their individual tax returns in order to appear on the ballot during the presidential or general election, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
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“Bills requiring prospective presidential candidates to disclose recent tax returns as a condition to appear on the ballot are currently pending in the following fourteen states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Similar legislation, introduced this year, failed in Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia.”
Imagine if Trump were not to show up on the ballots in 20 states. He would receive no votes in those states and have no chance of winning the electoral votes in states that could well decide the next election. That alone could doom his chances of being re-elected.
Would such a move by the states be in compliance with the Constitution? That would have to be litigated, and there may not be enough time for such a case to travel the winding road from district court level to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that the states could indeed ban Trump from their ballots unless a court issued an injunction.
Keep in mind that Trump has repeatedly said he would love to release his tax returns but cannot because he’s being audited, even though nothing in the IRS regulations or federal law prevents him from doing so.
Congress has now moved to get the president’s taxes, but the White House is expected to fight those requests in court, arguing that Congressional Democrats only want to use the documents to embarrass the president. Then again, what does he have to be so embarrassed about?
Featured Image Via the BBC