The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied former President Donald Trump’s request to block the U.S. Treasury Department from granting a request by congressional Democrats for copies of Trump’s tax returns.
The court’s order lifted a temporary hold that Chief Justice John Roberts put on a lower court’s ruling from August that said Democrats could have the returns.
A longstanding federal law says Congress can have access to private tax information by making a formal request to the Treasury Department. Trump’s arguments that Democrats were just out to get him have finally failed in court.
Trump was the first presidential candidate in modern history to refuse to disclose his tax returns, which contain details about income and how much tax someone paid.
Democrats asked for six years of Trump’s tax returns in April 2019, arguing they needed the material to evaluate the IRS tradition of automatically auditing the president and vice president every year.
The Trump administration refused to comply with the request, claiming Democrats only wanted to publicize Trump’s taxes in order to make him look bad. Democrats issued a subpoena and took their case to court, where it became one of several legal battles testing the fundamental power of Congress to conduct investigations as part of the legislative process.
On Tuesday, without explanation, the Supreme Court vacated its earlier order temporarily staying a lower court’s ruling in favor of Democrats.