University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Blumenthal v. Trump PR-DC-0004
Docket / Court 17-cv-01154 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Presidential Authority
Case Summary
On June 14, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against President Trump in the United States (“U.S.”) District Court for the District of Columbia. The Plaintiffs sought declaratory relief establishing that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting monetary or nonmonetary ... read more >
On June 14, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against President Trump in the United States (“U.S.”) District Court for the District of Columbia. The Plaintiffs sought declaratory relief establishing that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting monetary or nonmonetary benefits from a foreign state without first obtaining “the Consent of the Congress” as required by the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the Plaintiffs, who are represented by lawyers from the Constitutional Accountability Center, sought injunctive relief ordering President Trump not to accept any such benefits from a foreign state without first obtaining “the Consent of the Congress.” The Plaintiffs are comprised of 30 senators and 171 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Plaintiffs alleged that President Trump failed to come to Congress to seek its consent for at least some foreign emoluments that have been the subject of public reporting. President Trump has stated that some of the more than 500 entities that he owns has received funds and profits from payments made by foreign governments, and public reporting has confirmed instances of such transactions made since President Trump took office. Examples include the President’s acceptance of intellectual property rights from the Chinese government, acceptance of payments from foreign diplomats staying his hotels in Washington D.C., and acceptance of licensing fees from the United Kingdom government for his television show, “The Apprentice”—all in 2017. By accepting these benefits, the Plaintiffs allege that President Trump has (1) thwarted the transparency that the “Consent of the Congress” provision was designed to provide, (2) denied Plaintiffs the opportunity to give or withhold their “Consent” to his acceptance of individual emoluments, and (3) has injured Plaintiffs in their roles members of Congress.

An amended complaint was filed on August 15, 2017 adding additional House members as plaintiffs and amending some of the factual allegations, and on September 15, 2017, President Trump filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on grounds that the Plaintiffs failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted. This motion is still pending.

Robert Carnes - 10/27/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Emoluments Clauses
Plaintiff Type
Non-DOJ federal government plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) President Donald Trump
Plaintiff Description The Plaintiffs are comprised of 30 senators and 171 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Trump and the Foreign Emoluments Clause
https://www.theusconstitution.org/trump-and-foreign-emoluments-clause
Date: 2017
By: Constitutional Accountability Center (Constitutional Accountability Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
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