The Supreme Court’s eight justices declined on Tuesday to hear the case. For the 215 House and Senate Democrats who signed on as plaintiffs, it was the second time their case was rejected, after a Washington, DC appeals court ruled 3-0 in February that the Democrats had no standing to sue Trump. The president himself called the lawsuit at the time “another phony case.”
NEW: Supreme Court, without comment, refuses to revive Democrats' suit alleging Trump's business holdings violate Constitution's emoluments clause.
— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) October 13, 2020
The plaintiffs, among them current vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, argued that Trump’s ownership of the Trump International Hotel in Washington violated the Constitution’s “emoluments” clauses, which prohibit presidents from taking payments from foreign governments and officials. As the Trump hotel would have been used by a stream of foreign dignitaries visiting the city, they argued he was breaking this rarely-tested rule.
The suit against Trump was filed in 2017, and as other efforts to prosecute the president – namely Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ investigation and this year’s impeachment trial – fell by the wayside, some liberal pundits hung on to the hope that the emoluments suit would be Trump’s downfall.
The court’s latest decision finally dashed those hopes. However, Trump is currently facing two similar lawsuits, one brought by a group of former White House lawyers and the other brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, both Democrats. Both suits refer to the Trump International Hotel, with the former also including the president’s “other businesses,” and the latter accusing Trump of using the hotel to siphon guests away from government-owned properties in Washington.
Lower courts have ruled that both cases can move forward, but President Trump has described them as “without merit.” Should they be brought to the Supreme Court, they would likely face a similar fate to the suit thrown out on Tuesday.
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