On Wednesday, a lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was thrown out.
The ridiculous lawsuit was filed earlier this year by the Maryland and District of Columbia’s attorney generals and claimed that Mr. Trump was violating the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution by allowing foreign dignitaries to stay at his hotel in D.C.
The clause prohibits government officials from accepting gifts from foreign officials.
The attorney generals said that evidence would show that the clause had been violated and the Trump had knowingly earned profits from foreigners.
According to these attorney generals, when foreigners stay at Trump’s International Hotel and, therefore, pay for rooms and service, Trump is benefiting financially from that, thus taking gifts from foreign officials. How absurd!
And the appeals court panel seems to agree. The three judges said that “the District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the president is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties.”
Basically, they said the Democratic attorney generals were grasping for straws and had no case. Furthermore, they suggested that they had utterly wasted the courts time and money by bringing such an issue before them.
According to the panel judges, the fact that Trump takes interest from his hotel does not prove in and of itself that profits affect him. Moreover, “Even if government officials were patronizing the Hotel to curry the President’s favor, there is no reason to conclude that they would cease doing so were the President enjoined from receiving income from the Hotel,” stated the court.
They also wrote that “there is a distinct possibility” that “certain government officials might avoid patronizing the Hotel because of the President’s association with it.” therefore, they agree that the “link between” foreign officials’ attendance and Trump’s profits is “simply” too farfetched.
In addition to the violation of the emolument’s clause, the state attorney generals claimed Trump’s profits from the hotel were harmful to the state, and its reason for joining the Union. According to them, the large amount that patrons of the hotel spent on their stay gave Trump’s properties an economic advantage over other competitors in the area.
Another outrageous claim!
Could it be that Trump’s properties in the area are merely thriving due to their superior quality and amenities rather than just because he is the president? After all, don’t most people prefer to stay in beautiful, affluent hotels if they can?
However, beyond that, the attorney generals failed to explain just how their state or its people were being harmed as a result of Trump’s hotel. Nor did they ask for a remedy for the situation, besides Trump being sued.
The appeals court found that odd and further reason that their case was “too attenuated.” The judges wrote, “When plaintiffs before a court are unable to specify the relief they seek, one must wonder why they came to the court for relief in the first place.”
It was also noted that never before had a president been brought before the courts for violating the emoluments clause contained in Article I of the Constitution.
The appeals court first began hearing arguments from the case in March after a Maryland federal judge had ruled that the case would be allowed to proceed and President Trump filed an emergency appeal of that decision.
In addition, Trump filed for a writ of mandamus, which, if granted, would allow the case to dismissed entirely on the ground of the judge being prejudice against the president.
The appeals court panel noted that writs of mandamus “are rarely given,’ but in this case, they believed the federal district judge’s ruling was “not ‘guided by sound legal principals,’ but by ‘whim,’” and so they granted the writ and declared that the judge had “erred so clearly.”
With this win, the case against the hotel will be dropped and will not be allowed to bring before them again.
Trump has other similar cases against him and his business, including one for the same hotel brought by nearly 200 Congressional Democrats. He is continuing to fight those and has filed another writ of mandamus.