Who Has Standing to Sue the President Under the Emoluments Clauses?

18 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2017 Last revised: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Matthew I. Hall

Matthew I. Hall

University of Georgia School of Law

Date Written: August 25, 2017

Abstract

Three pending lawsuits challenge President Trump's practice of accepting payments and other benefits from foreign governments through his businesses as violative of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. They also allege that the President's practice of accepting payments and benefits from state or federal governmental units violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause. These actions raise interesting questions about the meaning of two little-discussed provisions of the Constitution. But before reaching the merits the courts will first have to grapple with issues of justiciability - in particular, with the question whether plaintiffs have "standing" to bring their claims in federal court. This article explains why, under the Supreme Court's Article III standing case law, the plaintiffs in the three pending actions do have standing to sue, and to demand most, if not all, of the relief that they seek.

Keywords: Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, corruption, President Trump, constitutional law, benefits, standing, procedure, injury-in-fact, executive branch, president, ethics

JEL Classification: k19

Suggested Citation

Hall, Matthew I., Who Has Standing to Sue the President Under the Emoluments Clauses? (August 25, 2017). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 95, November 2017, Forthcoming, University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3026223

Matthew I. Hall (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-5398 (Phone)

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