With much fanfare months ago, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump had violated the emoluments clause. The constitutional challenge was billed as meant “to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments.” I have previously stated that the lawsuit was unlikely to succeed.
CREW is represented in the case by CREW’s board chair and vice-chair Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyers for the last two presidents, Constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Laurence H. Tribe and Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler PLLC.
Eisen spoke on behalf of the team in declaring “of course an organization is injured when it has to respond to a flagrant violation of the law.” That is not how the court saw it in dismissing the entire action without a trial.
New York Judge George Daniels in the Southern District of New York found a “lack of standing” and that such controversies should be directed to the political process. The court specifically rejected the notion that other restaurants and businesses suffered a cognizable legal injury from the alleged emoluments violation in properties like the Trump hotels.
There are similar lawsuits brought in Washington and Maryland against Trump.
Here is the decision: Emoluments decision