Can the US Congress pass a law to require all presidents to disclose
their taxes, earning and financial dealings?
No. There are 90+ senators that have presidential aspirations. There is no way you are going to get them to pass a law that will someday force them to reveal how they have been milking the system.
Thus it is impossible to get this done. Could they if they wanted and had support for it? Sure they have the power to do that. It would have a better chance coming from the states as an amendment to the Constitution though.
Would this cause any constitutional, legal or other scope related
This is a potential. But as long as they do not include judges in the scope then I doubt the Supreme Court would strike it down.
On the other hand if the law required the IRS to release tax returns I can see some incredible opportunities for challenges to the authority of the IRS and other issues that would arise. This would be a poison pill for any member of any governing body.
Are there issues of "grand fathering" associated with enacting a law
Certainly any president or other official that would be affected that took office prior to the law being enacted would not be able to be subject to the law. Its possible that persons in office at that time would have to either resign comply with the law. Also one thing that has not been discussed is penalty. If the penalty is something like $1000 per day I can see many potential leaders paying the penalty for non compliance rather than actually divulging their records.
What impact do the following factor play on the legality and rationale
for passing this sort of law?
- The federal government is already equipped and empowered to do audits of individuals and corporate entities.
- Transparency has been a critical part of American government controls.
- There are guidelines, prohibitions and precedence that have established public expectations for public officers.
The office holders have been ignoring, intentionally not complying, and out right breaking those laws and rules for as long as they have been making them. Why would this rule be any different.