The Maryland state Senate passed a bill on Monday to make the state the first in the nation to require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s ballot.
The senate passed the bill 28-17, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The bill is seen as a response to President Trump’s break with decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns during the 2016 presidential race.
Trump has maintained that he is unable to release the returns because of an ongoing audit, but the IRS said nothing was preventing Trump from sharing the documents.
The bill now moves to Maryland’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
The Hill notes:
There is debate over whether a law requiring candidates release their returns would be constitutional. A 1995 Supreme Court decision found that states adding new qualifications for federal candidates “would erode the structure designed by the Framers to form a ‘more perfect Union,’” law professor Richard Hasen noted in Politico.
However, Article II of the Constitution says that states can “direct” “the manner” for choosing presidential electors, and the Supreme Court gave state legislatures broad powers in presidential elections in its ruling for Bush v. Gore. This opened the door for states to set limits on the candidates offered on the ballot, Hasen argues.