Once again a rather flagrant violation. (via The Washington Post)
The case heard Thursday centers on two little-tested constitutional provisions known as the emoluments clauses. Written to stop officials of early America from being swayed by gifts, they bar the president from taking so-called emoluments from either foreign governments or individual states.
No court has considered the merits of an emoluments case previously, and attorneys for the plaintiffs say they believe the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately weigh in regardless of the outcome at the district court level.
The question of standing — whether the two jurisdictions have the right to bring a case — was central to Thursday’s hearing, which was called to deal with the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss. If Messitte sides with Trump, the case will be thrown out.
But if he sides with Maryland and the District, the case could proceed to a discovery phase, meaning that the plaintiffs could seek records from Trump’s businesses, including his hotel in downtown Washington.