Federal Appeals Court tosses Dems’ emoluments clause lawsuit

Donald J. Trump is on a roll right now. After his wildly popular State of the Union address and impeachment acquittal, there’s even more good news bolstering his re-election campaign.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday struck down a lawsuit brought by a coalition of House and Senate Democrats that Trump had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by allegedly using his position in the White House for profit. 

Trump takes a victory lap

The three-judge panel issued a decision in which they wrote that Democrat challengers lacked standing to sue the president:

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, but we will not—indeed we cannot—participate in this debate. The Constitution permits the Judiciary to speak only in the context of an Article III case or controversy and this lawsuit presents neither.

Trump responded to the decision, “I’ll be reading it on the helicopter but it was a total win. It was another phony case and we won it three to nothing. We won it unanimously.”

Elizabeth Wydra, the attorney representing the 200 Democrat lawmakers in the case also responded to the decision, remarking that “While we are disappointed in the panel’s decision and are in active discussions with our clients as they consider their next steps, it is important to recognize that today’s ruling is not a decision on the merits.”

“The Court of Appeals did not in any way approve of President Trump’s repeated and flagrant violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause,” she declared.

Emoluments clause

The constitutional clause in question states that “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

The Hill reports that Democrat Senators and members of Congress bringing the suit against Trump claimed that “foreign diplomats’ patronage of the president’s hotels opens Trump up to the kind of foreign influence that the framers had sought to avoid, and that the president had not consulted Congress on his business dealings.”

Although Donald Trump relinquished control of the Trump Organization to his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, he did not place his business assets in a blind trust, leading Democrat lawmakers to accuse Trump of opening himself up to a conflict of interest.

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