//  10/5/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a recently-passed bill awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown that, if signed into law, would require presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in California. Jason and Charlie ask each other whether California has the constitutional power to do that, and, if so, whether it's a good idea. 

The discussion begins with an explanation [at 3:00] of the California bill, SB 149, that imposes the tax return requirement on those seeking to be on the ballot in California for President. Charlie and Jason then [at 5:00] get into the meager caselaw in this area, which centers around whether states may add substantive requirements for federal office above and beyond what is in the so-called "Qualifications Clause" of the Constitution. They then get into a sometimes testy back-and-forth about whether Presidential elections are different than other federal elections [14:00] and whether this disclosure requirement is "substantive" or "procedural" [30:00]. The episode ends [at 38:30] with a few words about whether this law is a good idea, even if it is within the state's power to pass.

As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Please share or provide feedback, and rate us in iTunes. You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at versustrumppodcast@gmail.com. 

Links

  • The bill's full text is here. The California Senate's constitutional analysis can be found in its report of September 15, which is linked here.
  • The key case that Jason and Charlie discuss, U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, is here.
  • Writing onTake Care earlier this year here, Danielle Lang concluded that state laws like the one passed in California could be constitutional.
  • The article by Rick Hasen in Politico on this issue is here.

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