SOME STATES WANT TO SEE CAN­DI­DATE TAX RE­TURNS

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

Law­mak­ers in nearly half the states want to add a re­quire­ment for pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates: Show us your tax re­turns.

The is­sue has dogged Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who be­came the first pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in mod­ern times to refuse to make his re­turns public. It flared anew this week af­ter MSNBC said it had ob­tained two pages of Trump’s 2005 fed­eral re­turn, prompt­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­lease the doc­u­ments pre­emp­tively.

State law­mak­ers, mostly Democrats, want to en­sure trans­parency in fu­ture elec­tions so vot­ers can eval­u­ate can­di­dates' sources of in­come and pos­si­ble con­flicts of in­ter­est. Most of the bills would re­quire re­leas­ing tax re­turns as a con­di­tion for ap­pear­ing on the bal­lot.

Some le­gal ex­perts said states do not have the power to cre­ate ad­di­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions. That’s up to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment can­not add to the qual­i­fi­ca­tions of sen­a­tors and con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tives out­lined in the Con­sti­tu­tion. Some le­gal ex­perts said that likely would ex­tend to the of­fice of the pres­i­dent.

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