//  8/1/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care hereby presents its coverage of all emoluments issues & cases in a single post.  We've organized our analysis into the following categories:

  1.           History & Theory of Emoluments
  2.           CREW Lawsuit
  3.           Maryland & DC Lawsuit 
  4.           Members of Congress Lawsuit
  5.           Examples of Corruption & Emoluments
  6.           Citizen Activism & Emoluments

1.  HISTORY & THEORY OF EMOLUMENTS

A Little More on Alexander Hamilton and the Foreign Emoluments Clause

Brianne Gorod | 8/1/17 

A trip to the National Archives turned up some fascinating evidence about Alexander Hamilton and foreign emoluments.

New White Paper on Trump and the Domestic Emoluments Clause

Brianne Gorod | 7/26/17

A major new white paper shows why the Domestic Emoluments Clause is a critically important provision in our Constitution.

The Definition of "Emolument" in English Language and Legal Dictionaries, 1523-1806

John Mikhail 7/12/17

"DOJ’s historical definition of 'emolument' is inaccurate, unrepresentative, and misleading."

Foreign Emoluments, Alexander Hamilton & A Twitter Kerfuffle

Joshua Matz | 7/12/17

Last week, Brianne Gorod strongly refuted the claim that Alexander Hamilton thought presidents are free to accept foreign emoluments. Her post sparked a bout of criticism on Twitter. But that criticism is weak even on its own limited terms—and should not obscure Brianne's vital contribution to a debate of surpassing national importance.

What Alexander Hamilton Really Said

Brianne Gorod | 7/6/17

For good reason, nearly everyone agrees that the Foreign Emoluments Clause applies to the President. And the main contrary argument rests on a misreading of the historical record.

George Washington’s Secret Land Deal Actually Strengthens CREW’s Emoluments Claim

Jed Shugerman | 6/2/17

George Washington’s effort to keep some of his land dealings quiet at least suggests he understood they were politically, legally, and maybe constitutionally problematic.

Mikhail’s Blackstone Breakthrough: Emoluments Meant Private Benefits

Jed Shugerman | 5/31/17

Trump’s lawyers have argued that the original public meaning of “emolument” was “payment or other benefit received as a consequence of discharging the duties of an office.” But recent research by John Mikhail into Blackstone's Commentaries shows that emoluments are not limited to “office related payments.” 

2.  CREW LAWSUIT

What It Means To Be Presidential: Litigating Positions

Leah Litman | 7/11/17

Jane Chong questioned whether the administration's “self-interested [legal] stance" in the cases about the emoluments clauses "is ... fundamentally at odds with the trust that the office [of the President] confers.” It's worth asking the same about the administration's litigating position on the scope of the injunction against the entry ban.

Emoluments and Justiciability

Zachary Clopton | 6/26/17

A new spin on questions of standing and justiciability at the heart of recent emoluments litigation.

Presents, Emoluments, and Corruption

Simon Stern | 6/21/17

Why DOJ's interpretation of "emolument" doesn't make sense as a matter of text or purpose.

Trump Is Ushering In A Kleptocracy. That's Why He Is Being Sued

Joshua Matz | 6/14/17

If recent events are any sign, the public will not stand idly by as Trump turns our nation into a banana republic.

Trump Emoluments Argument Mirrors His “Just a Hope” Comey Defense

Michael Dorf | 6/14/17

The last week saw important developments with respect to Donald Trump's ongoing confrontation with the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause.

How the DOJ Brief in CREW v. Trump Reveals that Donald Trump is Violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause

Marty Lederman | 6/12/17

The most remarkable thing about DOJ’s brief is that its conclusion doesn't follow from its own explanation of the meaning of the term “emolument,” nor, for that matter, from any of DOJ’s analysis. To the contrary, DOJ’s account of the Clause, and of the meaning of the term “emolument,” actually demonstrates that the President is violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause, at least with respect to some of the conduct alleged in the CREW complaint.

The Two Sides Of Donald Trump, As Reflected in The Government's Motion to Dismiss in the CREW Emoluments Case

Leah Litman | 6/12/17

The government's motion to dismiss alternately characterizes CREW's lawsuit as a case involving "official action" and a case involving solely a private "business venture." The different descriptions go to the core of CREW's lawsuit, which is that given the President's business affairs, we don't know when he's acting as President or as a businessman.

Two Thoughts on the Government's Motion to Dismiss in the CREW Emoluments Case

Richard Primus | 6/10/17

Here’s a brief note on two things that struck me on a quick read of the government’s motion to dismiss in CREW v. Trump, filed yesterday. The first is about Mississippi v. Johnson, which the government cites as limiting the power of courts to grant injunctions against the President. The second is about the government’s more general claim that the only proper relief for an emoluments violation is political rather than judicial.

New Hotel-Owner Plaintiff in CREW Emolument Lawsuit

Joshua Matz | 5/11/17

Yesterday, CREW again amended its complaint alleging that President Trump has violated the Domestic and Foreign Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Notably, CREW added another plaintiff: Eric Goode, the owner of several famous hotels, restaurants, bars and event spaces in New York.

On Standing In CREW v. Trump Part II: More Distinctions Without A Difference To Competitor Standing Cases

Leah Litman | 4/28/17

The various ways that standing skeptics have distinguished cases supporting standing in CREW are unpersuasive.

On Standing In CREW v. Trump Part I: Defining The Injury

Leah Litman | 4/27/17

Critics of the standing arguments in CREW v. Trump are defining the new plaintiffs’ injury in the wrong way.

Standing Up For Standing in CREW v. Trump

Leah Litman | 4/26/17

Everyone should give a tip of the hat to the new plaintiffs in the CREW v. Trump lawsuit.

CREW’s New and Improved Legal Complaint Against Trump

Take Care | 4/24/17

Matthew Stephenson (Harvard Law School) analyzes CREW's emoluments clause lawsuit against President Trump, discussing the recent addition of two plaintiffs and the likely course ahead.

Competitor Plaintiffs in Emoluments Clause Case Bolster Standing

Michael Dorf | 4/19/17

CREW has amended its complaint in the widely-watched emoluments case. The addition of two new plaintiffs should make the lawsuit bulletproof on standing grounds.

There’s Unquestionably Standing in the CREW Case. Here’s Why.

Jon Taylor | 4/19/17

The additional plaintiffs in the CREW case unquestionably have standing.

Will Trump’s Lawyers Rewrite and Invert the Emoluments Clause?

Joshua Matz | 4/18/17

NYT has leaked one of DOJ's theories in the emoluments clause case: that this is a "political question." Any such argument, however, would be exceptionally weak as a matter of text, precedent, and purpose, and would completely invert the basic operation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

3.  MARYLAND & DC LAWSUIT

Asymmetric Geographical State Standing

Davd Fontana | 6/20/17 

The recent DC/Maryland emoluments case reflects a truth known to the Framers: jurisdictions geographically closer to the national capital would have a different relationship with federal power.

Maryland and DC Have Standing to Sue Trump for Emoluments Violations

Larry Tribe & Joshua Matz | 6/12/17

The constitutional arguments supporting state standing in this landmark Emoluments Clause case are exceptionally powerful.

States And The Emoluments Clause

Leah Litman | 6/12/17

In a new lawsuit, Maryland and D.C. allege that the President's violations of the Emoluments Clauses harm their sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and proprietary interests. Those interests get special solicitude in federal court.

4.  MEMBERS OF CONGRESS LAWSUIT

Raines Check: Legislator Standing and the Separation of Powers

G. Michael Parsons | 7/10/17

Separation of powers principles strongly support standing in the Foreign Emoluments Clause suit filed by Members of Congress.

Congressional Standing Is Not an All-or-Nothing Proposition

Brianne Gorod | 6/19/17

It is perfectly consistent to think the House lacks standing in House v. Price, but that members of Congress have standing to sue for Foreign Emoluments Clause violations.

Members of Congress Have Standing in the Emoluments Suit

Eric Segall | 6/24/17 

Why the emoluments suit by 196 Members of Congress must be decided on the merits.

Because President Trump Has Chosen Not To Go to Congress, Members of Congress Must Go to the Courts

Brianne Gorod | 6/14/17

Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative John Conyers, and 194 other members of Congress have gone to federal court seeking to put an end to the President’s willful violations of the Constitution.

5.  EXAMPLES OF CORRUPTION & EMOLUMENTS

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts in the Trump Administration

Take Care | 6/13/17

An updated quarterly report on instances in which there are credible allegations of President Trump, his family, and his close associates exploiting their public power for private gain.

Trump’s Foreign Emoluments: Another Fig Leaf Falls Away

Joshua Matz | 5/25/17

Trump's widely-touted plan to comply with the Foreign Emoluments Clause has always been inadequate and riddled with tough questions. Now we have answers to some of those questions—and they confirm that Trump's hotel-related violations will persist unabated.

Profiting from the Presidency?

Take Care | 5/3/17

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts of Interest in the Trump Administration

GSA, Trump International Hotel, and the Constitution

Brianne Gorod | 3/24/17

Yesterday, the General Services Agency surprised experts by declaring that the Trump Hotel in D.C. is not in violation of its lease. But the GSA's decision itself might well violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause. 

6.  CITIZEN ACTIVISM & EMOLUMENTS

A New Front in the Emolument Wars

Joshua Matz | 7/20/17 

If the people of this nation want a president who acts unclouded by private financial benefits, they must step up and insist that their officials not pay illegal emoluments to Trump in the first place

Reuters: State Pension Funds Paying Millions in Emoluments to Trump

Jed Shugerman | 4/27/17

Analysis of a Reuters report that state pensions, run by state officers, are investing and paying public money to Trump LLCs


Punching Down From The Pulpit, And Other Unpresidential Positions

8/8/17  //  Commentary

The President’s litigation positions underscore how he views his office as a license to beat up on persons with less power.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Important Update on an Emoluments Case Against Trump

8/5/17  //  Latest Developments

Late last night, the plaintiffs in CREW v. Trump filed their brief opposing President Trump's motion to dismiss the case.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

A Little More on Alexander Hamilton and the Foreign Emoluments Clause

8/1/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

A trip to the National Archives turned up some fascinating evidence about Alexander Hamilton and foreign emoluments.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center