This is the first time in history that a state has sued the president over the Emoluments Clause.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) initially filed a lawsuit against Trump regarding the Emoluments Clause on January 23. In particular, they questioning Trump Organization hotels, and whether foreign officials are opting to stay at Trump properties in order to curry political favor.

Following their initial filing, CREW has sought out additional plaintiffs, including high-end hotelier Eric Goode, the union Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and event-booker Jill Phaneuf.

According to the New York Times, Trump Organization lawyer Sheri Dillon, “has disputed that the Emoluments Clause applies to hotel rooms being rented by representatives of foreign governments, arguing that payments based on market rates for services do not represent an emolument.”

Dillon also said that the hotels would donate any profits that resulted from foreign leaders staying in the hotels to the Treasury.

However, Laurence H. Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor of constitutional law and one of CREW’s lawyers, said that Goode’s involvement in the case has ensured that it will be taken seriously. “It makes it inconceivable that this lawsuit would be tossed out,” he told the Times. “As a hotel and restaurant owner, Mr. Goode will be harmed due to a loss of revenue by defendant’s ongoing financial interest in businesses which receive payments from foreign states, the United States, or state or local government.”

Washington’s Cork Wine Bar has also filed a similar lawsuit against Trump. They claim to be losing business to Trump’s D.C. hotel, and while they are not seeking damages, they would like for him to divest from the Trump Organization wholly (or to close the hotel).


Trump University

In late March of 2017, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel approved a $25 million deal under which President Trump settled multiple lengthy lawsuits. While Trump did not admit to wrongdoing, he did agree to pay roughly 3,730 students of the now-defunct Trump University who believe they were defrauded by the for-profit real estate seminar program and its misleading claims. While Trump had previously vowed never to settle, after the election, he reportedly determined he didn’t not have time for a trial.”The court finds that the amount offered in settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable, and accordingly concludes that this factor weighs in favor of final approval,” wrote Judge Curiel. It is possible that the cases could be appealed.

Sanctuary Cities

On January 31, San Francisco became the first city to file a lawsuit against the president. Their case took issue with his executive order targeting sanctuary cities (municipalities which have vowed to limit their cooperation with federal immigration policies) and his threat to withhold federal funding from them.

In April of 2017, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III blocked the administration from enforcing the executive order. He wrote, “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration-enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves.”

The Muslim Ban

Following each of Trump’s executive orders on immigration—better known as travel bans—the president has faced a deluge of litigation from individuals, civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, and individual states. Both bans have been halted, at least for now.

On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco upheld the injunction against the second iteration of the ban. The injunction was initially put in place by the federal district court that heard the State of Hawaii; Ismail Elshikh vs. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States. Other appellants included John F. Kelly, in his official capacity as Secretary of Homeland Security and Rex W. Tillerson, in his official capacity as Secretary of State.

“We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress,” reads the court’s unanimous decision.

Earlier this year, a court in the Fourth Circuit also upheld an injunction against the travel ban. According to the New York Times, the administration is seeking to appeal that case to the Supreme Court.

Back in February, the Ninth Circuit blocked Trump’s original travel ban, which was much broader in scope.


Just days before Trump’s inauguration, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos sued the then President-elect for defamation. Zervos said that Trump kissed and groped her, claims which Trump publicly denied. He said the allegations were “100% fabricated and made-up charges,” “totally false,” and “totally made up nonsense,” which prompted Zervos’s lawyers to ask for an apology. When she didn’t get it, she sued.

Litigation is still pending.

Original Posted