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California Supreme Court Invalidates Statutes Requiring Filing Of Tax Returns To Appear On Presidential Ballot

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Patterson v. Padilla, Case No. S257302 (Nov. 21, 2019).  At issue was "whether portions of the recently enacted Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act (Elec. Code, § 6880 et seq.) (the Act) conflict
with article II, section 5, subdivision (c) of the California Constitution (article II, section 5(c)) and are therefore invalid".  In an opinion by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Supreme Court held:

". . . Elections Code sections 6883 and 6884 are invalid under article II, section 5(c) of the California Constitution insofar as they purport to require someone who is 'recognized . . . throughout the nation or throughout California' as a candidate for the office of President of the United States to file with the Secretary of State federal income tax returns as a necessary condition for appearing on the primary election ballot of a political party that has qualified to participate in that election".

Justices Chin, Corrigan, Liu, Cuéllar, Kruger and Groban concurred with Justice Cuéllar filing a concurring opinion.

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