September 27, 2020

Appeals court rules against Trump – emoluments clause case continues

President Trump’s legal team met a crushing defeat today, as a panel of justices ruled that the case against him for violations of the Constitutions Emoluments Clause can continue.

The Washington Examiner has the details:

On Thursday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals revived the emoluments lawsuit against Trump by a 9-6 vote, passing the case back to a judge in Maryland who has consistently ruled against the president. It remainspossible that discovery related to foreign government stays at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., might begin before the 2020 election.

The case details are as follows:

The lawsuit involves the president’s hotel in Washington, D.C., located on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks away from the White House. Top state lawyers, and many Democratic lawmakers, have said the president is illegally profiting from foreign and state government patrons to the Trump International Hotel.

A Reagan-appointed judge, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, had the foresight to point out what the ruling really means – an abusive and ever-present state of litigation against the President.

Wilkinson writes:

“I make but one point — that the federal judiciary, no less than the president, is subject to the law. And here the federal judiciary has sorely overstepped its proper bounds. My friends in the majority chide this dissent for its ‘dramatics.’ Instead, they give this case the ho-hum treatment as though it were no different from our ordinary fare…I intend no diminution of the ordinary case to note that this case is extraordinary. The majority is using a wholly novel and nakedly political cause of action to pave the path for a litigative assault upon this and future Presidents and for an ascendant judicial supervisory role over presidential action.”

“The legal foundations for this lawsuit are non-existent,” Wilkinson said.

“It is a fanciful construct that invites the courts to create rights and duties from thin air,” he said. “It opens the door to litigation as a tool of harassment of a coordinate branch with notions of competitor standing so wide and injury-in-fact so loose that litigants can virtually haul the Presidency into court at their pleasure.”

That’s exactly what’s going on here. The president’s opponents are abusing the proper function of the courts. They aren’t interested in justice, just resistance.

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