Supreme Court Declines to Hear Emoluments Case Against Trump

October 13, 2020 by Dan McCue
The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to revive a lawsuit filed by members of Congress that accused President Donald Trump of illegally profiting from his presidency.

As is their custom the justices did not explain why they were rejecting the case, including it in its latest “Certiorari Denied” among scores of other, less high-profile cases.

The decision means the earlier dismissal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit of the lawsuit filed by 215 members of Congress will stand.

The suit claimed the president has flouted the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause since he took office. The clause prohibits self-dealing by federal officeholders.

In a unanimous, unsigned decision, the appeals court said the individual members of Congress simply didn’t have legal standing to take the president to court.

“The members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the president himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit,” that ruling said.

“But we will not — indeed we cannot — participate in this debate,” the panel said.

Trump still faces a number of other lawsuits alleging he violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign and domestic officials who stay at the Trump International Hotel.

In May, a federal appeals court in Virginia reinstated a lawsuit brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A similar lawsuit brought by restaurant workers and a prominent restaurateur and hotelier has also been given the green light to continue.

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