lawsuit, filed by Trump's personal lawyers in federal court in
Sacramento, argues the statute signed into law last week is
unconstitutional because it sets up illegal new rules governing
who can seek the presidency.
The complaint also alleged that the law retaliates against Trump
for his apolitical beliefs and therefore violates his right to
free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit follows a similar one filed by Judicial Watch, a
Washington-based conservative legal group, on behalf of four
voters registered in California - two Republicans, a Democrat
and an independent.
The Republican Party also filed a similar case on Tuesday.
The measure requires presidential candidates to release five
years of tax returns in order to appear on a nominating ballot
in California, the most populous U.S. state. The bill passed
both houses of California's Democrat-controlled legislature and
was signed by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom last week.
Trump refused to release his tax returns during the 2016
campaign, bucking a practice followed by every presidential
nominee for decades.
Last month, the Democrat-controlled Ways and Means Committee of
the U.S. House of Representatives sued the U.S. Treasury
Department to force the release of Trump's tax records.
Democrats want the tax returns as part of their inquiry into
possible conflicts of interest posed by Trump's continued
ownership of his extensive business interests.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, signed an
amendment last month to a law requiring the state's Department
of Taxation and Finance to release any returns sought by the
Both efforts have been rebuffed by Trump's team. The president
sued to block the New York law, and Treasury Secretary Steve
Mnuchin has refused to hand Trump's returns over to the Ways and
An earlier version of the California law had been vetoed by
Newsom's predecessor Jerry Brown, a Democrat who expressed
concerns over its constitutionality.
"These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral
duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking
the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore
public confidence," Newsom said in a statement when he announced
the bill signing last week.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Richard Chang)
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