President Donald Trump declared victory Wednesday after a judge blocked a California law keeping his name off the state’s ballot ahead of the 2020 election.

Judge Morrison England Jr. officially blocked the law Tuesday afternoon, giving the president a major victory pending California’s appeal. The law, passed in July, would have required any candidate running for president to produce IRS tax returns for the past five years.


“I won the right to be a presidential candidate in California, in a major Court decision handed down yesterday. It was filed against me by the Radical Left Governor of that State to tremendous Media hoopla. The VICTORY, however, was barely covered by the Fake News. No surprise!” Trump told his Twitter followers.

Democrats and other activists have long criticized the president’s decision not to release his tax returns, so the California law was not a surprise.

“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence,” Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said in a statement in July.

England, the judge, appeared to sympathize with lawmakers’ intent.

“[W]hile this Court understands and empathizes with the motivations that prompted California,” England said in his decision, “the Act’s provisions likely violate the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

England had put a temporary hold on the law in September.

The victory could be a Pyrrhic one for Trump as California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced plans Tuesday night to appeal the decision. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will likely preside over the appeal process.

England was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002.

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