The Latest: California defends tax return law after setback

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing over California's law aimed at forcing President Donald Trump to release his tax returns (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

California's elections chief says he believes a state law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns is constitutional despite a legal setback.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's comments Thursday come after a federal judge sided with the Trump campaign in its request to halt the law.

The law requires presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns to appear on the state's March 2020 primary ballot.

Padilla says California will determine its next steps after the judge issues his written ruling next month. U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said he expects an appeal.

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow says he's encouraged by England's decision to halt the law.

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1:50 p.m.

A federal judge has sided with the Trump campaign's request to halt a California law that's aimed at forcing the president to release his tax returns.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said Thursday that he'll issue a formal ruling by Oct. 1.

The ruling marks a major victory for Trump, who is fighting multiple Democratic-led efforts to force him to reveal the returns. California is expected to appeal.

The Trump campaign and Republican parties have sued over the law requiring candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the March 2020 primary ballot.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law in July.

Lawyers for Trump and Republicans argue that it violates the U.S. Constitution by adding an additional requirement to run for president. They also said a federal law requiring presidents to disclose financial information supersedes state law.

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8:50 a.m.

Lawyers for California and the Trump campaign plan to argue in federal court over a state law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the primary ballot.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law aimed at forcing President Donald Trump to reveal his tax returns. He has said they are under audit and refuses to release them.

California's primary is scheduled for March 2020, and candidates will have to turn over five years of tax returns to the state by November to be on the ballot.

Trump's campaign wants a federal judge to halt the law from taking effect while the legal case plays out. It argues the law violates the Constitution by adding another requirement to run for president.