September 13, 2019

A split Second Circuit panel ruled Friday that President Donald Trump can’t escape a suit claiming he violated the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses by catering to foreign and domestic government officials at his hotels and restaurants.

The majority concluded that restaurateur and hotelier Eric Goode had sufficiently shown that statements by Trump may have lured dignitaries to Trump-branded establishments, hurting Goode’s and other high-end hospitality businesses, according to the decision.

U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels had thrown out the case in late 2017 after finding that, while Goode and trade group Restaurant Opportunities Center United had shown they were injured when government patrons hoping to curry favor with the president chose Trump-held businesses over others, the plaintiffs had failed to tie those injuries directly to actions by the nation’s chief executive.

The plaintiffs are represented by Stuart C. McPhail and Adam J. Rappaport of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School, Deepak Gupta, Jonathan E. Taylor, Joshua Matz and Daniel Townsend of Gupta Wessler PLLC and Joseph M. Sellers and Daniel A. Small of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

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