SCOTUS Temporarily Blocks Trump Tax Return Release

On Tuesday, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining former Pres. Trump’s tax returns — as scheduled on Thursday — until the full court can rule on the matter.

SCOTUS Temporarily Blocks Trump Tax Return Release
Image credit: Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Facts

  • On Tuesday, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining former Pres. Trump’s tax returns — as scheduled on Thursday — until the full court can rule on the matter.
  • Roberts gave the committee until Nov. 10 to respond to Trump’s petition, which argued that the committee seeks to release the returns "to the public" without legislative reasons, adding that releasing them could undermine the executive branch's powers.
  • The committee first requested several years of Trump’s tax returns in 2019. After Trump’s Treasury Dept. declined, the committee filed a lawsuit. When Biden took office, the committee renewed its request, which saw the admin. side with it.
  • Trump's arguments were rejected by a district court in December 2021 and a three-judge panel of an appeals court in August. Last week, the full bench of the DC Circuit Court denied Trump’s request to block the returns, prompting him to file an emergency briefing with SCOTUS on Monday.
  • In a statement, Dylan Peachey, communications director for the Ways and Means Committee, said the committee “maintains the law is on our side, and will file a timely response as requested.”

Sources: CBS, Forbes, and FOX News.

Narratives

  • Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by NewsMax. SCOTUS must block the Democrats’ access to Trump’s tax returns. All they're doing is fishing for dirt without any genuine legislative reasons. With the elections fast approaching and looking to favor Republicans, there's no wonder they wanted them released this week.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Occupy Democrats. Even the conservative-majority SCOTUS hasn’t been receptive to the former president’s attempts to keep records from the public or avoid investigation. Lower courts have already established that the committee holds a valid legislative purpose for seeking the returns, and, despite this minor setback, Trump can't avoid scrutiny indefinitely.