U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Schedules Rehearing En Banc in Trump Emoluments Lawsuit

On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered rehearing en banc in District of Columbia v. Donald J. Trump. The lawsuit, filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, alleges violations by President Donald J. Trump of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

At issue in the lawsuit is the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. President Trump has retained ownership of the hotel during his presidency. Since the 2016 election, the hotel has housed and lodged foreign and state officials visiting Washington, D.C. The lawsuit alleges that because President Trump continues to retain ownership of the hotel, he is vulnerable to inducements by foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The emoluments clauses prevent presidents from accepting gifts, payments, or anything of value from foreign governments, the federal government, or the states without the consent of Congress.

Earlier this year, on July 10, 2019, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland lack standing to enforce the emoluments clauses against the President. The rehearing en banc is scheduled for oral argument on Thursday, December 12, 2019. President Trump currently faces similar emoluments lawsuits in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Additional Reading

Trump emoluments case over his D.C. hotel gets second chance in legal challenge, The Washington Post (October 15, 2019)

October 15, 2019 Order in District of Columbia v. Trump, No. 18-2488 (4th Cir. 2019)

July 10, 2019 Opinion in District of Columbia v. Trump, No. 18-2488 (4th Cir. 2019)