Posted by: Ray Brescia | April 4, 2018

More on Emoluments and Standing

Last year on this blog, I wrote about the Emoluments Clause lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland.  This case is one of many by blue state regions against the Trump Administration, raising various claims on a range of topics: DACA, environmental practices, the Travel Ban, etc. One of the issues in many of these cases is whether the litigants have standing to sue, the judicially created requirement that a party to a lawsuit has some personal stake in the outcome of the suit so that the court is confident that any ruling will actually affect the parties that are harmed by the challenged action and the parties will be sufficiently zealous in the pursuit of their claims (I simplify the subject significantly here). Recently, the district court ruled that the plaintiffs in the Emoluments Clause action had standing to bring the case, on a number of grounds.  One of the bases on which the court found standing was that the litigants had so-called proprietary interests at stake in the outcome: here, that they operated their own businesses  in the hospitality industry, or had a stake in such businesses, and such businesses are experiencing harm from the use of a Trump hotel in the nation’s capital by foreign and domestic interests allegedly looking to curry favor with (and direct profits to) the president by choosing to patronize his hotel.  If of interest, I wrote about the importance of proprietary standing for states and other public plaintiffs, especially in light of the increasing number of cases being filed by states against the federal government, in a piece forthcoming in the Oregon Law Review, which is available in draft form here.

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