A federal appeals court on Thursday revived a lawsuit seeking to block President Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington from accepting payments from foreign and state governments.
In a divided decision, the court refused to dismiss the novel lawsuit that accuses the president of illegally profiting from foreign and state government patrons at his D.C. hotel. The case, brought by the top lawyers for Maryland and the District of Columbia, is one of a set of lawsuits alleging the president’s private business transactions violate the Constitution’s anti-corruption emoluments ban.
“We recognize that the President is no ordinary petitioner, and we accord him great deference as the head of the Executive branch,” Judge Diana Motz wrote for a majority of judges. But the court denied Trump’s request to dimiss the lawsuit, saying it would not “grant the extraordinary relief the President seeks.”
The ruling from the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is at odds with a decision in March in a separate, similar case that barred individual members of Congress from suing the president over his private business.
The split rulings suggest the Supreme Court will have the final word in the cases involving the rarely tested emoluments provisions intended to prevent foreign and state officials from having undue influence on U.S. leaders, including the president.