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Thread: New Jersey passes bill forcing presidential candidates to release tax returns

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Because if the majority Christian electorate compels public disclosure of candidates' religious beliefs, they are potentially smoking out the religuous minority from successful candidacies. Muslims may agree.
    How is that a "test" at law?

    Since everyone routinely learns the religion of every candidate, this argument is both technically and practically specious.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    As applied it could indirectly violate the federal prohibition against there being 'no religious test' because most tax returns, charitable contributions, will tend to reveal the taxpayers religious affiliation by inference which most candidates seem to want to reveal anyway, but which some may not.

    Medical issues, relevant to voters, but clearly subject to privacy, could also be a problem since those can be deducted.

    Agreed upon, non-court ordered, alimony could also be an issue if the parties to the divorce agreed not to dislose the amounts.
    Article VI's no religious tests regarded the federal government. The states have religious tests long after the ratification of the Constitution. Two points regarding Article VI's religious tests: they were oaths, and the primary purpose was to not exclude different Christian denominations from federal office. Article VI was a rebuke of the Test Act of 1673 and The Church of England:

    That all and every person or persons, as well peers as commoners, that shall bear any office or offices civil or military. THE BAPTIST QUARTERLY or shall be of the household, or in the service or employment of his Majesty, or of his Royal Highness the Duke of York . . .shall . .. take the several Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance,. . . and the respective officers aforesaid shall also receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the usage of the Church of England ... And be it further enacted ... That at the same time when the persons concerned in this act shall take the aforesaid Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, they shall likewise make and subscribe this declaration following. . . ."I, A.B. do declare, That I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of Bread and Wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever .... "


    Oliver Ellsworth summed up reason for the no religious tests clause:

    A religious test is an act to be done, or profession to be made, relating to religion (such as partaking of the sacrament according to certain rites and forms, or declaring one's belief of certain doctrines,) for the purpose of determining whether his religious opinions are such, that he is admissable to a publick office. A test in favour of any one denomination of Christians would be to the last degree absurd in the United States. If it were in favour of either congregationalists, presbyterians, episcopalions, baptists, or quakers, it would incapacitate more than three-fourths of the American citizens for any publick office; and thus degrade them from the rank of freemen. There need no argument to prove that the majority of our citizens would never submit to this indignity.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by webrockk View Post
    Should a closeted homosexual candidate be systematically 'outed' without their consent?
    If it can somehow be learned from a tax return, sure.

    There's nothing stopping a Presbyterian from giving to Catholic charities. Or an atheist, even. Many probably do, since Catholic charities do lots of good work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    How is that a "test" at law?

    Since everyone routinely learns the religion of every candidate, this argument is both technically and practically specious.
    Everyone has routinely learned that the President is Christian. Prior to Kennedy, being Catholic would have disqualified you. Being Muslim today would do likewise today.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebateDrone View Post
    There is nothing in the article that precludes any other requirements. The Article's requirements are the basic requirements needed.

    There is no provision in the article that even requires a candidate have a birth certificate.

    New Jersey can stipulate whom can run in their state process. NJ just can not deny a person that meet the basic Constitutional provisions from running.

    So long as the provision is applied equitably, there is no violation of any right. Running for President is a privilege and not a right. States can regulate privileges.
    There are no rights granted in the Constitution. Article II's presidential election clause is qualifications, not rights.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Historical voluntary disclosure has no bearing on compulsory statutory disclosure of something extremely likely to reveal somebody's religious affiliation.
    So courts are prohibited from looking at things in the real world when making decisions? They live entirely in a world of theory?

    Someone seeking public office gives up some of their privacy. That's why we call them "public officials."
    Thanks from boontito

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    How is revealing his/her tax returns a "qualification?" It's just something he or she needs to do to get on the ballot, like collecting signatures. It's not like only some people file tax returns--everyone has a tax status. It's not like anyone in the country would be disqualified from office because they don't have a tax status to report.
    Because it is not procedural. It is an unconstitutional qualification by a state for a candidate to run for federal office in that state.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Everyone has routinely learned that the President is Christian.
    And yet a considerable portion of the population refuse to believe this, which just goes to show how poor some voters are in examining evidence.
    Prior to Kennedy, being Catholic would have disqualified you.
    As I recall Al Smith was on the ballot in every state.
    Being Muslim today would do likewise today.
    Answer my question: How is that a test at law? You're doing everything but answering my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I don't see how this law does that.
    It is a qualification. It is not germane to running for President. The only way that this would pass a challenge is to amend Article II. It also violates federal privacy laws.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Because it is not procedural. It is an unconstitutional qualification by a state for a candidate to run for federal office in that state.
    No, it's a procedure he has to follow. If somehow filing tax returns were a voluntary thing, something not everyone has to do, then it would make sense as a "qualification." But everyone files tax returns, and those who don't (if there were such an animal) can simply say honestly that no such filings exist. If it's something everyone has or does, how can it be a qualification?

    By the way, every state requires candidates to collect signatures in order to be placed on a ballot. We call that "qualifying" for the election.

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