N.J. lawmaker wants to keep presidential candidates who don’t show tax data off state ballot

Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during his successful presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during his successful presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A New Jersey Assembly committee will consider legislation Monday that would require presidential candidates to disclose their federal income tax returns to get on the state’s ballot.

Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during his successful presidential campaign.

Assemblyman John McKeon said his bill is intended to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.

“I think it’s very important from a transparency perspective for the voters to have that information,” said McKeon, D-Essex. “If our society norms aren’t going to force the issue, then we need to do so as a matter of law.”

Rutgers law school professor Ronald Chen said it’s unlikely the courts would agree that a state has the power to impose additional requirements on candidates for federal office.

“It’s is just a matter of federal supremacy that states cannot have individualized requirements to run for president,” he said. “That’s set up in the U.S. Constitution.”

Congress might be able to impose that requirement, Chen said, but not state legislatures.

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