Court Battles

Appeals court denies Trump’s rehearing request in emoluments suit

A federal appeals court in New York on Monday let stand an earlier decision to allow a group of hotel and restaurant owners to sue President Trump for allegedly violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to deny Trump’s request for a rehearing could tee up an appeal by Trump to the Supreme Court over the meaning of the constitutional bar on self-dealing by federal officeholders.

Monday’s 8-4 decision in favor of the hospitality industry members was hailed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a public interest group backing the lawsuit.

“We’re pleased at the 2nd Circuit’s decision and look forward to continuing this historic case,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for CREW.

The lawsuit, one of several disputes involving Trump and the Emoluments Clause, claims the president violated the constitutional provision by refusing to put his business assets in a blind trust while in office and profiting off the presidency, to the detriment of industry competitors.

A federal district court in New York initially dismissed the case in December 2017, finding the plaintiffs lacked a legal right to sue Trump over the alleged constitutional abuses.

But last September, a divided three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit ruled 2-1 to allow the suit to proceed, sparking Trump’s ultimately unsuccessful request for a rehearing by the full court.

In a separate emoluments case, Democratic lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court in July to reverse a ruling by a D.C.-based federal appeals court that found the lawmakers lacked the legal right to sue Trump. The justices have yet to respond to the request.

In May, a Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court refused to throw out another lawsuit alleging Trump violated the constitutional prohibition. Following that decision, Jay Sekulow, the president’s private counsel, said Trump’s legal team would seek review at the Supreme Court.

Tags 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington CREW Donald Trump Emoluments Clause lawsuit Jay Sekulow
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