Emoluments

An emerging consensus holds that President Trump is violating both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses by virtue of his ownership interest in the Trump Organization.

The Plaintiffs in CREW v. Trump Deserve To Have Their Claims Heard

8/14/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Our amicus brief explains why the Justice Department’s jurisdictional arguments miss the mark

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

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

All TC Analysis of Emoluments Issues & Cases

8/1/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care presents an organized guide to our coverage of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses.

Take Care

Conflict of Interest Isn’t a Game

7/28/17  //  Commentary

When Trump makes claims about conflicts of interest without any reference to the applicable rules, he's just shooting squid ink.

David Sklansky

Stanford Law School

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

While some argue that the President may accept gifts without running afoul of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, critics view this reading as inaccurate and ahistorical. Dismissing the Emoluments Clause litigation for lack of standing would deviate from separation-of-powers principles.

Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017

7/9/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary continued on the application of the Foreign Emoluments Clause to the President.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

Simon Stern, on Take Care, argues that the Administration's interpretation of "emolument" conflicts with the Founders' vision.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

D.C. and Maryland are uniquely positioned in their suit against the President for his violations of the Emoluments Clause.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump is ushering in a kleptocracy, that's why he's being sued. So argues Joshua Matz in Take Care as the cases against President Trump's violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses mount.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Allegations of impropriety under the Emoluments Clause continue to swirl around President Trump, particularly in response to recent announcements of new America-themed Trump hotels.

GSA, Trump International Hotel, and the Constitution

3/24/17  //  Quick Reactions

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.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

New Hotel-Owner Plaintiff in CREW Emolument Lawsuit

5/11/17  //  Latest Developments

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.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

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

6/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

Announcing Our New Podcast: "Versus Trump"

4/20/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care is pleased to announce the release of "Versus Trump," a new, affiliated podcast about the ways that the Trump Administration is breaking the law—and what people are doing about it.

Take Care

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

4/19/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The additional plaintiffs in the CREW case unquestionably have standing.

Jonathan Taylor

Gupta Wessler PLLC

New White Paper on Trump and the Domestic Emoluments Clause

7/26/17  //  Commentary

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

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts in the Trump Administration

6/13/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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.

Take Care

Profiting from the Presidency?

5/3/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts of Interest in the Trump Administration

Take Care

What It Means To Be Presidential: Litigating Positions

7/11/17  //  Commentary

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.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

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

6/14/17  //  Commentary

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.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

A New Front in the Emolument Wars

7/20/17  //  Commentary

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

Joshua Matz

Publisher

States And The Emoluments Clause

6/12/17  //  Commentary

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.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Congressional Standing Is Not an All-or-Nothing Proposition

6/19/17  //  Commentary

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.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

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

6/14/17  //  Commentary

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

Joshua Matz

Publisher

What Alexander Hamilton Really Said

7/6/17  //  Commentary

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.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

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

6/14/17  //  Commentary

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

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Raines Check: Legislator Standing and the Separation of Powers

7/10/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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

G. Michael Parsons

Private Practice

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

6/12/17  //  Quick Reactions

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.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Emoluments and Justiciability

6/26/17  //  Commentary

Zachary Clopton offers a new spin on questions of standing and justiciability at the heart of recent emoluments litigation.

Take Care

Reuters: State Pension Funds Paying Millions in Emoluments to Trump

4/27/17  //  Quick Reactions

Professor Jed Shugerman analyzes a Reuters report that state pensions, run by state officers, are investing and paying public money to Trump LLCs

Take Care

Presents, Emoluments, and Corruption

6/21/17  //  Commentary

Simon Stern explains why DOJ's interpretation of "emolument" doesn't make sense as a matter of text or purpose.

Take Care

Standing Up For Standing in CREW v. Trump

4/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

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

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Foreign Emoluments, Alexander Hamilton & A Twitter Kerfuffle

7/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

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

7/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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

Take Care

Asymmetric Geographical State Standing

6/20/17  //  Commentary

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.

David Fontana

George Washington University Law School

CREW’s New and Improved Legal Complaint Against Trump

4/24/17  //  Commentary

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.

Take Care

Mikhail’s Blackstone Breakthrough: Emoluments Meant Private Benefits

5/31/17  //  Commentary

By Jed Shugerman: 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.”

Take Care

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

6/2/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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.

Take Care

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

4/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Competitor Plaintiffs in Emoluments Clause Case Bolster Standing

4/19/17  //  Commentary

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.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump’s Foreign Emoluments: Another Fig Leaf Falls Away

5/25/17  //  Commentary

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.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Members of Congress Have Standing in the Emoluments Suit

6/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Eric Segall explains why the emoluments suit by 196 Members of Congress must be decided on the merits.

Take Care

Versus Trump, Episode 1

4/20/17  //  Commentary

"A New Sheriff In Town" + Zephyr Teachout

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

4/28/17  //  Commentary

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

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

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

4/18/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Maryland and DC Have Standing to Sue Trump for Emoluments Violations

6/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Joshua Matz

Publisher

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

6/10/17  //  Quick Reactions

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.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Leah Litman continued her series of posts on "standing" in the CREW emoluments lawsuit. Further conflicts of interests drew attention as the Trump Administration announced its tax plan.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

CREW added another plaintiff to its Emoluments Clause lawsuit, potentially strengthening the case for standing.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The CREW Emoluments Clause lawsuit added a New York hotel owner, and law professors argue that Blackstone interpreted "emolument" broadly.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump has pledged to donate his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. States are considering regulating access to ballots based on financial disclosure.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

While Judge Neil Gorsuch did not reveal his views on President Trump and the Emoluments Clause this week, we saw analysis both of President Trump's domestic emoluments and of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's business ties raise questions about his domestic and foreign policies.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

People across the country have protested demanding to see President Trump's tax returns. The CREW's emoluments suit has progressed with the addition of two new plaintiffs who have made the case stronger.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump pledged to donate his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. Questions have arisen over whether states can regulate access to ballots based on financial disclosure.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's personal and family business connections continue to raise the specter of unconstitutional corruption.