With no credible GOP challenger at this point, Trump likely won't need California's delegates to win the Republican nomination.
According to the Times, the new law does not appear to prevent any candidate that does not disclose their tax returns from appearing on the 2020 general election ballot in California. Otherwise, beginning in 2024, the law will also require candidates for California governor to hand their tax returns over, as well. The new California law does not, however, apply the same rules to a write-in candidate - a possible backup plan for Trump should he be forced to choose.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Tuesday, July 30, 2019, requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the state's primary ballot, a move aimed squarely at Republican President Donald Trump.
The Trump campaign called the bill "unconstitutional", saying there were good reasons why California's former Democratic Gov. "What's next, five years of health records?", Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, said in an email.
Accordingly, I am signing Senate Bill 27.
Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said California's law "will be answered in court", according to U.S. media reports.
Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement that "the State of California's attempt to circumvent the Constitution will be answered in court".
"As one of the largest economies in the world and home to one in nine Americans eligible to vote, California has a special responsibility to require this information of presidential and gubernatorial candidates", Newsom said in a statement that accompanied his signature on the bill approved by the Legislature earlier this month.
The Republican National Committee does not require candidates to appear on primary ballots in all 50 states.
Jack Pitney, a political-science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said California's new law will bring greater transparency but could deter some candidates with complex tax returns from running for governor. Last week, he sued both NY state officials and the House Ways and Means Committee over Democrats' efforts to force their release.
The measure is a direct challenge to Trump, who has bucked tradition by not releasing any of his tax returns, prompting concerns from Democrats and others about potential conflicts of interest.
Trump has long cited an IRS audit as to why he can't release his tax returns, which McGuire dismissed as "hogwash" and argued that Trump "simply wants to avoid releasing his tax returns". Tax returns show income, charitable giving and business dealings, all of which Democratic state lawmakers say voters are entitled to know about. They will then be posed online for the public to view, with certain personal information redacted.
California is holding next year's primary on March 3, known as Super Tuesday because the high number of state's with nominating contests that day.
McGuire said that the measure "applies to all candidates". Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters of the California law, referencing the inevitability of Trump suing over it.