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

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    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.
    Again, that's specious because no one is forced to run for president. If they want to maintain the privacy of all their affairs, they can avoid running for political office.

    And it's COMPLETELY germane to running for president. It speaks to the character of the potential office holder and shows how he might or could not use his office to benefit himself. And since we apparently don't require the president to follow ethics laws--when we vote for him we're saying we trust him to be ethical--then clues as to his ethics and potential violations of ethics are completely germane to the discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    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. As I recall Al Smith was on the ballot in every state. Answer my question: How is that a test at law? You're doing everything but answering my question.
    How is it not a test? Its a surefire way for the mostly Christian electorate to compel religious disclosure of non-Christian candidates. Besides which it just, independently, violates I Amendment, Establishment Clause, and privacy. Anything where the public can now find out what religion, that's truly problematic.
    Last edited by publius3; 19th March 2017 at 11:37 AM.

  3. #43
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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.
    I do not believe any of these issues would be constitutionally problematic, because the person is getting a benefit from the government - i.e., the general public - on account of all these things.

    As to the alimony issue, an agreement between the parties does not bind third parties.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    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?
    Procedures are not qualifications. Procedures are processes. Asking for someone's income and deductions is a qualification, not a process. That is no different than limiting it to whites, property owners, etc. It is a federal presidential election and the states can only implement procedures to make the election timely and uniform to coincide with the Electoral College. If a candidate does not submit their tax returns, they would be barred from being on the ballot because of that qualification.

    The most liberal of Supreme Court justices have shot state's qualifications for federal elections down. The Supreme Court is not going to suffer a semantics argument over opinions counter to the universally accepted definition of the word "qualification" regardless of the ideological sway of the court.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Again, that's specious because no one is forced to run for president. If they want to maintain the privacy of all their affairs, they can avoid running for political office.

    And it's COMPLETELY germane to running for president. It speaks to the character of the potential office holder and shows how he might or could not use his office to benefit himself. And since we apparently don't require the president to follow ethics laws--when we vote for him we're saying we trust him to be ethical--then clues as to his ethics and potential violations of ethics are completely germane to the discussion.
    A presidential candidate's qualifications for running for President are defined in Article II. Opinions regarding what the qualifications should be from an individual or state are irrelevant unless Article II is amended.

    Your thoughts are valid, but not actionable by a state.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemoWhip View Post
    That is a very good bill for New Jersey to have passed! ALL Presidential and V.P. Candidates should release their tax returns as N.J. and other states have determined. The states obviously have it right in this regard. If Trump plans to run again he'd better start getting his tax returns in order or not be able to get on in several states.








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    New Jersey passes bill forcing presidential candidates to release tax returns | TheHill
    By Brooke Seipel

    How does New Jersey have the right to pass a law demanding something of a Presidential candidate?

    That's just absurd on its face. Maybe for New Jersey officials they would have a shot at passing something like this - but for this haughty state to think they can set new national guidelines is preposterous.

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    Release of tax returns would not constitute a "religious test" under Art. VI. Revealing information might be politically disqualifying - i.e., the voters might decide based on that information - but it would not be a legally requirement to hold the office, which is what the religious test clause is about.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    How does New Jersey have the right to pass a law demanding something of a Presidential candidates?

    That's just absurd on its face.
    No, it is not. While the qualifications for president are set forth in the U.S. Constitution, presidential races are all run by the states.

  9. #49
    Member Robert Urbanek's Avatar
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    One could easily see how "disclosure" rules could be abused. What if a state required a candidate to disclose all their Internet avatars and other aliases so that voters could judge the candidates by what statements they made on the Internet? Would you be okay with a state requiring a candidate to disclose a medical and/or psychiatric exam to determine their fitness for office? What about disclosing a drug test to determine if the candidate used unlawful or controlled substances?

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    So, in the interests of full disclosure by a person vying for public office, the public would have a right to pursue and peruse their college transcripts, right?.... the candidate could be compelled to unseal them by a state's legislative efforts?

    interesting..
    Last edited by webrockk; 19th March 2017 at 12:42 PM.
    Thanks from pragmatic

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