In re: Donald Trump, No. 18-2486 (4th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The District of Columbia and the State of Maryland lacked Article III standing to pursue their claims against President Trump under the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Circuit granted President Trump's petition for writ of mandamus and reversed the district court's orders in an action brought by the District and Maryland, contending that the President is receiving emoluments from them because his continued ownership interest in a global business empire provides him with millions of dollars in payments, benefits, and other valuable consideration.
Exercising jurisdiction through 28 U.S.C. 1292(b), the court rejected the District and Maryland's argument that they have Article III standing based on harm to their proprietary interests, parens patriae interests, and quasi-sovereign interests. The court stated that the District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's orders denying the President's motion to dismiss filed in his official capacity, and in light of the court's related decision in No. 18-2488, the court remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.