DC wine bar loses appeal in lawsuit against Trump hotel

DC wine bar loses appeal in lawsuit against Trump hotel
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A federal appeals court on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by a local Washington, D.C., wine bar against President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE's hotel in the city, ruling that the business had failed to establish legal grounds for its case.
 
A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its decision that Cork Wine Bar could not make a valid claim that the Trump International Hotel has an unfair competitive advantage over its business because of Trump's status as president.
 
Cork, located about 1.5 miles north of the Trump hotel, sued the hotel in March 2017 in the D.C. court system, arguing that its clientele had been flocking to the president's establishment since he took office.
 
"Cork, like other hospitality businesses, seeks to attract both foreign and domestic customers including government, political, legal and lobbying leaders," the company wrote in a court filing last May. "Because the Trump Hotel and its restaurants are owned by President Trump, they have an unfair advantage because the Hotel and others promote the connection between it and the Presidency."
 
But in a 12-page opinion, the circuit panel upheld a district court judge's ruling that argued that a decision against the hotel would be condemning "a broad swath of legitimate business conduct," like celebrities owning restaurants that promote the affiliation to attract customers.
 
The panel consisted of two judges appointed by Republican presidents and Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDon't mess with the Supreme Court Graham on potential Supreme Court vacancy: 'This would be a different circumstance' than Merrick Garland Prosecutor who resigned over Stone sentencing memo joins DC attorney general's office MORE, who was appointed during the Clinton administration and unsuccessfully nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Obama.
 
Trump is also facing a handful of lawsuits arguing that his ownership of numerous private hotels violates the constitution's ban on federal officials accepting foreign emoluments without congressional approval.