Someone Needs To Remind Poor California That It Is Just Another State, And In Need Of Therapy

It isn’t just your Democratic friends that Donald Trump’s election and presidency have caused to obsess in an unhealthy manner. The entire state of California just can’t move on with life. Bitter and angry, it is somewhere between the second and third stages of grief ( denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).  If the state had knees, it would be going down on one, and screaming.

The legislature has passed a law requiring that Presidential candidates who want to appear on the California ballot would have to release their previous five years of tax returns. Tax returns are part of the impeachment crowd’s imaginary smoking gun evidence package. As with the emoluments clause, the Russian conspiracy theory and the “he’s not sufficiently like other Presidents so he must be insane” argument, the Trump-Obsessed are certain that if we just knew the truth about what was in the President’s tax returns, reversing the election would just be a few creative steps away.

Senate Bill 149 passed on September 15, and it is waiting for Governor Brown’s signature. Brown has not always been a fan of releasing candidate tax returns, like his own, for example.  He released his tax returns in his first two gubernatorial races, but not in 2010 or 2014 , after his opponents refused to  release theirs. I’m sure Brown will sign the bill, though. He has shown less and less inclination to restrain his increasingly alienated state’s political over-reach.

The real problem with the proposed law is that it’s unconstitutional. While the A 1995 Supreme Court decision, United States Term Limits v. Thornton, held that states can impose reasonable procedural requirements for federal candidates for Congress to get on state ballots, it also emphatically rejected the existence of  state power to impose additional qualifications for federal office. The Constitution’s list of requirements are, the court stated, immutable and exclusive, unless there is a Constitutional amendment. Our law of the land provides that Presidents must be natural born citizens and at least 35 years old, and that’s that.

Since this is an anti-Trump law, there have been so dearth of  legal scholars who will abandon their integrity to claim that California can require a potential President to do what no other citizen can be forced to, because it’s just a reasonable procedural requirement, like getting names on a petition. It isn’t, though. If California got away with this, other states could require blood oaths, or sworn statements of marital fidelity. The ABA Journal suggests that a challenge to the law on Constitutional grounds would be a close call, but the ABA is also a political organization with its own judgment addled by anti-Trump bias. This is wishful thinking. There is no chance that this law wouldn’t be overturned by the Supreme Court. It might well be over-turned unanimously.

Ah, but it it makes poor California feel better, maybe the exercise is worth it. Anything to move on to depression and acceptance.

46 thoughts on “Someone Needs To Remind Poor California That It Is Just Another State, And In Need Of Therapy

  1. I’d be happy to go along with this bill if it was expanded to require every single legislator in the once great state of California to release their tax returns for the last 5 years. This bill would include the Governor, both Senators, and all members of the House of Representatives residing in the state. How about that bill folks!!

    • I wouldn’t. Personal financial information is none of the public’s business unless the candidate wants to make it their business.

    • So you would be cool with a violation of the Constitution, so long as everyone is violated equally?

      Want to think about that some more? I think you should.

      • I think it’s a goose and gander observation, RR. If the state legislators had to observe the same disclosure requirement, they’d never even introduce such a bill, never mind pass it.

  2. Since this is an anti-Trump law, there have been so dearth of legal scholars who will abandon their integrity to claim that California can require a potential President to do what no other citizen can be forced to, because it’s just a reasonable procedural requirement, like getting names on a petition.

    I find it disturbing that so many lawyers would abandon their principles.

  3. I think California should go ahead and try to secede. They are already bankrupt, not collecting state taxes as they should, and absent Federal funds they’d be worse off than Puerto Rico. (The ‘Independistas’ in PR aren’t shouting for independence now, are they? As a territory they’ve been bankrupt for almost a decade, depending only on US Federal Funds to survive. And now… I know PR very well and love it and feel very sorry for what’s happened there… But how would they survive as a nation-state? Haiti here we come. The same goes for California…)

    Let the San Andreas fault finally break, and CA can make a case to be a separate nation. Good luck to them on that. They can’t manage as a state, much less as a nation-state. And making up their own rules so they can be as anti-Trump as possible is just egotistical poor loser behavior. Just won’t fly. We are where we are. Nothing CA (or NY for that matter) is going to change it. DEAL WITH IT.

    It’s just nuts.

    • They’d probably want a good portion of the Pacific Fleet and the West Coast Marines and Navy and Marine air wings. Or maybe they’d lease all that to the U.S. a la Guantanimo. Hilarious.

    • I’m from here too. I love everything about California that God put here: the people, the beaches, the mountains, and the perfect weather. It’s just the government that finds a way to wreck it all.

      • Related: the $15-an-hour minimum wage law is causing companies to use robots instead of people in San Francisco (for such work as security guards.) So now the city government is considering a “robot tax” to discourage this predictable result of the problem they caused in the first place. It would be kinda funny if it wasn’t so not.

        • I would really be surprised if corporations such as McDonald’s and WalMart are not seriously researching just how much of their operations they can automate. If they are going to have to pay workers at least $15 per hour, then make them all essentially supervisory workers who monitor and correct the machinery.

          How long before you can order a Happy Meal without ever speaking to a human being?

          Of course that will mean that teenagers looking for a first job need not apply — they’ll only want skilled workers. But hey — at least what workers are left will presumably be making a ‘living’ wage, right?

          • at least what workers are left will presumably be making a ‘living’ wage, right?

            Uh, no. Prices adjust to wages. This only hurts the middle class while unemploying the poor.

            • Sorry, forgot my sarcasm font for that sentence. Actually, once the minimum wage is $15, then they’ll be campaigning for it to go up to $16 or $17 or $20, or whatever is the new ‘living wage’.

              • Have you not been to a Burger King recently? And other fast food joints? You order on a touch screen. If you pay cash, you have a slight interaction with a human at that point. Orders are even more messed up, even though you have paper showing exactly what you picked as add-ons, and that you paid for them (I hate it, but I DO pay $1 or more for bacon because bacon cheeseburgers are a right, man). The teenagers behind the counter stand around MORE than they used to, with glazed eyes, and have no customer service skills. It’s not better.

              • The question such proponents can never answer: why stop at $15 per hour? Why not $20? $50? Their arguments work for those amounts too, because they are emotional appeals and not based on logic. More money to workers means higher prices for the consumer, which in turn means that $15 will no longer be a ‘living wage.’

                Of course, the dirty little secret is exactly what you said: they intend to raise it again and again, until there is no middle class at all, only the elite and the peons dependent on ‘bread and circuses’ provided by their betters.

  4. This is the same ABA that gave an award to Anita Hill after her testimony against Clarence Thomas. The award was presented by–wait for it–Hillary Clinton.

  5. So there would be a good chance no one would be on California’s ballot, because how many likely candidates actually release their tax returns, if by some reversal of all the laws of logic and physics this made it past the Supreme Court (or any Court reliant on our Constitution)?

    Machiavelli says it would be a good thing for the disappearance of 55 guaranteed Electoral votes for a party that has gone completely off the rails.

    But I jest.

    Of course, Machiavelli would also ask why does California want such a measure? Does California recognize that Republicans ought be doing far better electorally in their state for some reason, so instead of revealing cracks in the facade in future elections, just keep Republicans from being on the ballot? (Because that’s the intent of the measure, because NO Republican in their right mind would release tax returns…Why?)

    Why are tax returns the focus anyway? Is there insufficient lime light on candidates for us to accurately evaluate them based on ethical leadership, effective leadership, and hyper-partisanship FOR America on the world stage?

    I suspect because the average presidential candidate has enough business dealings and wealth, and our Tax Code makes Justinian’s Code look like Pop-Tart instructions, that the average presidential candidate does have something legally questionable on their tax returns or does have business dealings with less than tasteful individuals.

    And I’m reasonably certain one political party has plenty of resources, willingness, and chutzpah to scrutinize returns to the nth degree in search of anything that can be spun for a certain loyalist media to blare from tallest tower for months on end when found.

    • Considering the supermajority the Demos have in my sanctuary state in the legislature do you think these ambulance chasers would allow their tax returns to be scrutinized? If they say yea, let’s start with Maxine Waters.

    • I think the calls for tax returns generally serve as barriers to entry to business people who might think of getting into politics. People who spend their whole careers in government just have a salary line on a return. For business people, every line represents an interest that is subject to attack.

  6. Insanity. I am going to laugh when this comes back to bite them, when Mark Cuban or whomever democrat decides they do not want to release taxes and it will be a big cluster-fuck.

    It is already pretty bad though. Lets say that there are two Democrats and two Republicans running for office. In the primary, if Dem 1 gets the most votes, and Dem 2 gets the second most votes, there will be no Republican on the ballot. That happened in the last election, there was not even a Republican on the ballot for Senator.

  7. Sometimes things people try to make laws out of are just hilarious. I mean, I’m a capital L lefty liberal (though officially an unaffiliated voter in my state). It irks me that current Prez didn’t release his (I admit to being suspicious of what’s in there, because I find the dude completely untrustworthy), but making it a state law? That’s truly laughable.

    • And, I suspect, a bad policy, given the unfortunate tendency of the right to emulate the (admittedly, winning) tactics the left once had exclusive use of.

      Unless they wish to restrict this law to only apply to non-Democrats?

  8. Anything to move on to depression and acceptance.

    Just keep in mind that the “depression” part, as it resists its upswing toward acceptance, could be responsible for 7,932,373 suicides. (not including Green Party or Independents.)

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