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In a suit wherein the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland was recently determined to have standing to sue United States President Donald J. Trump, President Trump’s motion to dismiss the action was denied.

The suit alleges that President Trump’s ownership of both the Trump Organization LLC and The Trump Organization, Inc. violate both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the United States Constitution.  The Foreign Emoluments Clause is set forth in U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 8 and the Domestic Emoluments Clause is set forth in U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 7.

Specifically, the suit has been narrowed down to allegations involving the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (the Hotel), a five-star, luxury hotel located near the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. The United States District Court for the District of Maryland noted that while both the original and Amended Complaint alleged violations going well beyond those involving the Hotel in the District of Columbia, the court, in its separate opinion regarding standing, found that Plaintiffs had demonstrated the requisite injury-in-fact for standing purposes only with respect to the Hotel and to the activities of the Trump Organization relating to it.  Those allegations assert that while President Trump does not actively manage the Hotel, through the Trump Organization, he continues to own and purportedly controls the Hotel as well as the bar and restaurant and the event spaces located within the establishment. Plaintiffs contend that directly or indirectly, President Trump actually or potentially shares in the revenues that the Hotel and its appurtenant restaurant, bar, and event spaces generate in violation of the Emoluments Clauses.

Lexis Advance® subscribers can access the full opinion at:  Dist. of Columbia v. Trump, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124129, 2018 WL 3559027

What are your thoughts about this case going forward?  Leave your comments below.

Author:  Gabriela Nolen, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor

Case submission:  Kelly M. Miles, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor


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