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Yet Another Federal Court Resurrects an Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump


A federal appeals court on Tuesday resurrected a lawsuit claiming that President Donald Trump has been unlawfully profiting from his luxury Washington, D.C. hotel in violation of the constitution’s Emoluments clause.

After a three-judge panel dismissed a suit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and D.C. over the summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed to rehear the case en banc, meaning all of the Court’s judges will vote on the matter. The two-page order set oral arguments for December 12.

Previously, the Court’s three-judge panel, all of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, unanimously ruled in July that the lawsuit could not proceed because the attorneys general lacked proper standing – the right to initiate a legal action – in the case.

The decision could prove to be a major hinderance for the president, as the Court’s earlier dismissal also prevented numerous subpoenas for documents related to Trump’s private businesses and federal government agencies from being enforced.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last month also revived an emoluments-related lawsuit against President Trump. That lawsuit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on behalf of high-end hospitality businesses competing with Trump’s private companies, had been similarly dismissed by a U.S. District Court ruling that CREW lacked standing.

A third emoluments case brought against Trump by members of Congress in Washington, D.C. federal court is currently on appeal.

Fourth Circuit Order by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.