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President Trump prevailed Wednesday morning in a lawsuit claiming that business profits from the Trump International Hotel, in Washington D.C, violate the Emoluments Clause, a provision in the Constitution that provides:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.
Subject - Debate - Merits - Court - Ie
What that means is the subject of debate, but before reaching the merits a court needs to decide who is entitled (i.e., has “standing”) to sue to enforce the Emoluments Clause. The Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit just decided the standing issue, finding that the Attorney Generals’ of Maryland and the District of Columbia had no standing. The Opinions are here and here.
The NY Times reports:
Victory - President - Trump - Appeals - Court
In a legal victory for President Trump, a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that profits earned by his Washington hotel while he is in office violate the Constitution.
A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., found that the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia had no legal standing to sue Mr. Trump.
Lawsuit - Attorneys - Maryland - Washington - DC
The lawsuit was brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington D.C., who said that Trump properties, notably the Trump International Hotel in D.C., were siphoning business away from state-owned convention centers.
According to the lawsuit, some people were likely patronizing the hotel in the hopes of currying favor with the President. Therefore, the argument went, President Trump’s hotel had gained a competitive advantage over similar venues, which meant that the President was profiting from his office. Such profits violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses, D.C. and Maryland said.
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