Far-reaching implications

Jennifer Rubin at the Post on the emoluments case ruling that granted standing:

In a decision with far-reaching implications for President Trump, a federal court ruled this week that a lawsuit could go forward claiming he unconstitutionally received foreign emoluments — that is, monies from foreign governments explicitly prohibited by the Constitution — from his hotel in Washington. The Associated Press reported:

A federal judge Wednesday allowed Maryland and the District of Columbia to proceed with their lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of accepting unconstitutional gifts from foreign interests, but limited the case to the president’s involvement with the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

There are other hurdles but that was the biggest one.

If Maryland and the District are successful, Trump may be ordered to do something he has so far avoided and which spineless Republicans have refused to demand — namely, disclose what his businesses receive from foreign governments, and either permanently jettison his ties to those operations or reject payments and other things of value from foreign governments (e.g. trademarks in China).

But that would be treating him like everyone else, and he won’t stand for it. He’ll either quit or spontaneously combust.

Rubin talked to Norm Eisen and Laurence Tribe about the case. RT=Rubin (her blog/column is Right Turn).

RT: Why did this case make it past the first hurdle and not the New York case? Will the New York case be appealed?

TRIBE: We are appealing the decision in the Southern District of New York dismissing our suit there. One reason for the different results is that Judge Messitte considered but rejected as wrong some of the grounds Judge Daniels erroneously gave for dismissing the SDNY case. In particular, Judge Messitte correctly rejected Judge Daniels’s conclusion that because Trump’s patrons chose to stay at his hotel, there was nothing a court could do to redress the injuries caused by the emoluments violations; he also rejected Judge Daniels’s conclusion that only Congress, and not the courts, could enforce the foreign emoluments clause. Judge Messitte’s rejection of these key conclusions from Judge Daniels suggests that the appeals court in New York could similarly reject those arguments. Further, the cases involve different plaintiffs, and as Judge Messitte recognized, the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland are not typical litigants: They are afforded “special solicitude.” That means a lower hurdle to jump to prove standing.

RTWhat is the significance of suing in Trump’s personal capacity?

EISEN: At oral argument, Judge Messitte recognized the emoluments clauses present a unique question among constitutional provisions. Unlike nearly all other provisions which involve the exercise of government authority, the emoluments clauses govern the public and private behavior of officers as an obligation of their office. Adding a claim against the president in his personal capacity helps ensure that the court will be able to reach the full scope of the his transgressions and maximizes the chance of success as the case proceeds.

Plus, also, besides, it’s Trump wot done it. It’s personal, man. (Not a legal opinion, just mouthing off.)

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