Trump Wins Major Emoluments Decision

I have previously written about my fundamental disagreement with the aspects of the emoluments challenges filed by various academics. We discussed the prior denial of the challenge by the Fourth Circuit. Now, the D.C. Circuit has issued a unanimous rejection of the challenge. It is a major victory for the Trump Administration and again raises the questions over the coverage of these claims, which largely omitted discussion of the considerable barriers facing these filings. It is a rejection of the challenge brought by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and 215 other members of Congress.

The three-judge panel — Judges Karen Henderson, David Tatel and Thomas Griffith — unanimously ruled that the Democratic lawmakers lack the standing to challenge the President.

The court noted that

“The Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the President himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit. But we will not — indeed we cannot — participate in this debate. The Constitution permits the Judiciary to speak only in the context of an Article III case or controversy and this lawsuit presents neither.”

In other words, do not darken our doorstep again.

Earlier the Fourth Circuit rejected this challenge in a separate case.

The challenges were filed a couple years ago by law professors and advocacy groups.  Previous filings were made by CREW’s board chair and vice-chair Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, Constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Laurence H. Tribe and Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler PLLC.   Eisen was later hired by the House Democrats to help direct its investigations against Trump.

Judge Paul Niemeyer declared these theories as speculative and  “simply too attenuated” to satisfy constitutional analysis. He noted that many people, including diplomats, likely avoid the hotel due to its association and it is not clear what the injunction would do for a hotel bearing the President’s name: “the Hotel would still be publicly associated with the President, would still bear his name, and would still financially benefit members of his family.”

The ruling also supports the argument of the White House that it is important for the President to be able to go to court to raise such challenges, an issue that was at the heart of the impeachment debate. I testified that the House was premature in its impeachment after arguably the shortest period of investigation of any presidential impeachment. That abbreviated period made going to the court (rather than yielding to congressional demands) an effective high crime and misdemeanor. While the issues were not same, the point is that there are a variety of challenges that past Administrations have raised in such cases. Both branches have turned to the judiciary to address such conflicts. Indeed, both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were allowed to take challenges all the way to the Supreme Court before facing impeachment.

Here is the opinion: Blumenthal v. Trump

66 thoughts on “Trump Wins Major Emoluments Decision”

  1. Where was the outrage when President Obama was cashing in on his book sales every year while in office? He didn’t sell off the rights to his book, did he? He received book income in the $millions while in office, didn’t he?

    This “Emoluments case has “double standard” and “harass the President I don’t like” written all over it.

  2. The Left has thrown everything they could at this President and he keeps lining the ball back at them and off their heads. It’s really impressive. He may be the greatest political in-fighter in my lifetime and a top tier leader of all time. Kudos.

  3. Karen, I heard that the mortgage on the Clintons place in New York was $10,000.00 a month. There was mother in law house on the property that the secret service stayed in. Guess what the Clintons charged the secret service for rent. You guessed it. Hilary just wants to serve the people.

  4. What I found interesting is the court talking about this suit being brought individual members of the House (of course they all joined this one) what the court considers “the House, ” to be. Here the court said that the complaint was that the House was damaged because they were deprived of the opportunity to vote on whether the President could accept emoluments. The court found that individual members are not the whole of, “The House,” and in this case was they didn’t even have a majority,

    This brings up an interesting argument made in the Impeachment trial. Adam Schiff and House Democrats tried to say that the President’s lawyers did not make any defensible arguments as to why they were preventing witnesses from testifying and documents from being released.

    The defense team responded by showing that they did, in fact, provide the House with their legal arguments on each. In one of them they claim that some of the subpoenas were not voted on and were also issued for an impeachment inquiry that the House had not voted on at the time. This ruling seems to lend a little creedance to that argument or in the very least should make House members be more aware and take care to actually make those votes, and do their job properly before ripping the nation apart like Democrats seem to be intent on.

  5. Watching the Democrat Debate is making my head hurt. Joe Biden is a scary fella. Why does Joe Biden always seem so angry about everything? He has squinty Botoxed eyes and keeps getting all riled up about everything and anything. Not on your life would I feel remotely comfortable with wacky Creeepy Angry Quid Pro Joe with his finger near the nuclear button. He’s unstable. Like his pal Pelosi. Trump truly does look like a stable genious compared to Uncle Joe.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I recall, this case charged that Trump’s ownership of hotels violated the emoluments clause.

    I considered this to be simple harassment. As long as he rented rooms at the going rate, and properly distanced himself from his business as required, then this is no violation. He was not required to sell off all of his hotels. That would be punitive to a businessman. Just as Nancy Pelosi’s wines can be sold to anyone, regardless of nationality, so anyone can rent a room at a Trump hotel. Otherwise, it would require that a businessman lose his business, or that he discriminate based on nationality. A lawyer does not have to give up his license to practice law to become President. A businessman should not have to give up his business.

    It also insinuated an evil intent to simply renting rooms.

    Now, if a foreign head of state showed up and paid 5,000 times the going rate for a room at his hotel, then they can complain.

    Is this what we can expect whenever a Republicans wins the White House from now on? Interminable investigations, spying, and harassment?

  7. IMHO this suit was just some more lawfare crap. Like the whole impeachment crap. I think lawyers who engage in this sort of stuff need to be careful they are not committing barratry, which is a crime in some jurisdictions.

    Here is a link to what lawfare is:

    Here is a link to what barratry is:

    How come none of the lawyers here have mentioned this stuff???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. There’s been nothing but lawfare cr!p. The emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, the bogus Mueller investigation, the shampeachment, the nationwide injunctions by Hawaiian judges. Important elements of the legal profession are begging to be tarred, feathered, and dumped onto Chinese merchant ships.

    1. The smart money says they’re using an accounting method that doesn’t belong in a poker game.

      1. That accounting method might belong in a poker game if AOC is hosting it, and she sets the house rules for the game.

    2. The WaPo is running this story about how

      quod est opinantibus recte repetitio de eodem

      We are losing revenue at the Washingmachine Putz and we couldnt survive if not for the richest billionaire in the world for shaking down our employees and paying them less than Walmart workers. This is to say we do appreciate you visiting our website though because no one supports our lying POS rag as much as you do.

      We thank you for your support

    3. Were you aware that the Clintons charged the Secret Service rent to stay in their guest house?

      Trump is not making extra money off hte SS. He also is not being forced to lose money by giving up rooms for free for the Secret Service to use. Whenever a President stays in any hotel, the SS rent rooms. Perhaps you were not aware?

    4. Trump has already donated his salary. He no longer makes business decisions in his companies. Those companies are not required to donate rooms for free when he stays there in order for the Secret Service to use the rooms.

    5. SETH
      As long as cases are brought before the “right” judges, Trump will continue to be allowed to violate the spirit and or law in the Emoluments cause of the constitution, and his supporters (e.g.JT- who may or may not be competing w/Sekulow for an even more secure, cushy taxpayer-funded job) will continue to operate in unethical, arguably illegal ways – and his cult members will cheer him.

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