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Could NJ Keep Trump Off of Ballot in 2020??

 
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PostPosted: 02/21/19 11:37 pm    ::: Could NJ Keep Trump Off of Ballot in 2020?? Reply Reply with quote

And will other states follow?

Quote:
The measure requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years of federal tax returns to appear on the state's ballot.


https://www.wthr.com/article/nj-senate-passes-bill-keep-trump-2020-ballot-not-releasing-tax-returns



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Stonington_QB



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 2:02 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


pilight



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 2:20 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stonington_QB wrote:
That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


Why? States apply limitations to getting on the ballot all the time.



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justintyme



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 2:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Stonington_QB wrote:
That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


Why? States apply limitations to getting on the ballot all the time.

Constitutionally, it is up to the states to run their elections and apply their votes however they see fit. And the conservative court with their hard-core originalist interpretations of the Constitution should be the strongest proponents of this.

The only time the courts step in is when the restrictions of the state run afoul of the other constitutional rights (ie: they are discriminatory). The only case I could see is a "compelled speech" first amendment case, but that would be fairly weak, imo.



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Stonington_QB



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 3:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Stonington_QB wrote:
That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


Why? States apply limitations to getting on the ballot all the time.


In a federal election? Not a chance and cite an example where this has happened.

SCOTUS has decided in this type of case in the past, Powell v. McCormack.




Last edited by Stonington_QB on 02/22/19 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
tfan



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 3:35 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The electoral college would keep Trump from releasing tax returns to get on the ballot. New Jersey is not a swing state. They also should have done a "non winner take all" electoral deal.


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PostPosted: 02/22/19 3:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Not to mention SCOTUS also struck down an attempt in 1992 by the State of Arkansas to impose term limits on U.S. Congressmen.


pilight



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 3:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stonington_QB wrote:
pilight wrote:
Stonington_QB wrote:
That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


Why? States apply limitations to getting on the ballot all the time.


In a federal election? Not a chance and cite an example where this has happened.

SCOTUS has decided in this type of case in the past, Powell v. McCormack.


Powell v McCormack was about the Speaker refusing to swear in a representative, not about the state limiting ballot access.

This is no different than requiring some candidates get x-thousand signatures except that it will apparently apply to all candidates



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 3:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Stonington_QB wrote:
pilight wrote:
Stonington_QB wrote:
That ought to get struck down in the SCOTUS quite swiftly. If it even makes it that far.


Why? States apply limitations to getting on the ballot all the time.


In a federal election? Not a chance and cite an example where this has happened.

SCOTUS has decided in this type of case in the past, Powell v. McCormack.


Powell v McCormack was about the Speaker refusing to swear in a representative, not about the state limiting ballot access.

This is no different than requiring some candidates get x-thousand signatures except that it will apparently apply to all candidates


They tried to exclude him from the ballot. That's where the SCOTUS stepped in and struck it down.


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PostPosted: 02/22/19 5:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Powell v McCormack was about Congressional Elections, not Presidential ones, and it was about the powers of Congress to exclude a member who had already been elected. It has nothing to do with a state determining who has a right to appear on their ballot.

This case could not have anything less to do with the issue.

Even though the election of a president is a federal election, the states are granted considerable power to decide how to go about deciding how their electors will cast their votes under Article II, § 2, cl. 2.

It could, of course, run afoul of New Jersey's Constitution or other election laws, but I am not familiar enough with those to pass any sort of judgement.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 5:20 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stonington_QB wrote:
Not to mention SCOTUS also struck down an attempt in 1992 by the State of Arkansas to impose term limits on U.S. Congressmen.


You got the relevant cases right. I believe SCOTUS would strike down such a law 9-0.

In the 1995 Arkansas Term Limits case, the Court held (5-4) that states could not adopt Congressional qualifications in addition to those enumerated in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. The five judge majority consisted of the four liberals plus the judicially bisexual Kennedy. The four conservatives dissented regarding Congressional elections. However, they specifically agreed with the majority that states cannot add qualifications to the Constitutional enumeration in a presidential election. Here are quotes from the dissent (at p. 861):

-- "a State has no reserved power to establish qualifications for the office of President, see ante, at 803-804", the citation being to pages 803 and 804 in the majority opinion.

-- "Arkansas may not decree that only Arkansas citizens are eligible to be President of the United States; the selection of the President is not up to Arkansas alone, and Arkansas can no more prescribe the qualifications for that office than it can set the qualifications for Members of Congress from Florida."

-- "the individual States have no "reserved" power to set qualifications for the office of President"

I think it's safe to say that all nine justices in the Term Limits case would have agreed that states cannot adopt presidential qualifications in addition to the three specified in the Constitution: 35 years of age, a natural born citizen, and a U.S. resident for 14 years.

Before even getting to legal analysis, the bill is an obvious political stunt, subject to all sorts of reductio ad absurdum argumentation. If a state can pass a law requiring its electors to vote only for candidates who provide five years of tax returns, why couldn't it pass laws requiring five years of health records (surely more relevant than tax returns), or two years of military experience (surely relevant for being Commander in Chief), or five years of voting records, or a requirement that the candidate be a member of the Republican party? Or dental X-rays, or college transcripts, or grammar school report cards? The slippery slope of absurdity is endless.

At least 26 states have considered this very legislation already, but so far all but New Jersey have rejected it, including California's moonbeam governor Jerry Brown, who said this in his veto:

Quote:
“I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote in a veto message. “First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”
justintyme



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 5:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

All of this ignores the facts that states already have specific documentary requirements enumerated in order to appear on their ballots.

That is different than enumerating a specific qualification like age, nationality, military service, etc.

Since this isn't actually a qualification issue, what it would be is a first amendment issue. And because, as you mentioned it does have the stink of a political stunt surrounding it, the more I think about it the stronger I think that case would be.

In a vacuum where Trump didn't exist, where this hadn't been an issue and a state just put it on their books and required it, I think the states could make the case that their compelled speech served a public interest. And I think if someone challenged it the state would have prevailed. But the political game aspect, and that other states have shot it down, and that it seems retaliatory, and that the current supreme court is fairly strong on first amendment issues all would likely get this tossed in a narrow ruling specific to tax returns.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 02/22/19 5:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
it does have the stink of a political stunt surrounding it


That's what it is. When states were considering requiring birth certificates before the 22012 elections, most of the partisans were taking opposite sides from what they are now.



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PostPosted: 02/24/19 1:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
All of this ignores the facts that states already have specific documentary requirements enumerated in order to appear on their ballots.

That is different than enumerating a specific qualification like age, nationality, military service, etc.

Since this isn't actually a qualification issue, what it would be is a first amendment issue. And because, as you mentioned it does have the stink of a political stunt surrounding it, the more I think about it the stronger I think that case would be.

In a vacuum where Trump didn't exist, where this hadn't been an issue and a state just put it on their books and required it, I think the states could make the case that their compelled speech served a public interest. And I think if someone challenged it the state would have prevailed. But the political game aspect, and that other states have shot it down, and that it seems retaliatory, and that the current supreme court is fairly strong on first amendment issues all would likely get this tossed in a narrow ruling specific to tax returns.


I hadn't focused on it at first, but your suggestion that the tax return requirement could be argued to be "compelled speech" is very creative, and I think anyone challenging the NJ law (if enacted) should probably adopt it as a back-up argument. I also think that it would be wise for Trump to allow (or incent) some other candidate to mount the challenge, so it wouldn't be trumpeted as another "Trump lawsuit."

For anyone interested in details, the bill has two parts relating to the tax return requirement. First, it states that "The names of candidates for President or Vice-President of the United States shall not be printed upon the ballot" unless the tax returns are filed. I assume this means that the names of the electors for the non-complying candidate would still be printed on the ballot, and also that voters could still write in the name of the non-complying candidate if necessary.

So, imagine that 100% of NJ voters wrote in the non-complying candidate's name.

The law would block the will of 100% of the voters, because it goes on to say: "An elector shall not vote for a candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States, unless the candidate" has filed the tax returns. This prohibition is clearly tantamount to adding an additional substantive requirement onto the Constitution's Presidential Qualification Clause within the electoral college. A challenger to this law would probably also argue that this provision interferes with Constitutional and statutory voting rights of both the general public voters and the electors.
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