On March 28, 2018, a Maryland District Court denied-in-part President Trump’s Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit (The District of Columbia and The State of Maryland v. Donald J. Trump, individually and in his official capacity as President of the United States), alleging that Trump violated the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses. The case was filed by the Attorneys General of the District of Columbia and Maryland. The plaintiffs argue that Trump’s emoluments violations harm the sovereign, quasi-sovereign, proprietary and parens patriae interests of Maryland and the District of Columbia. In addition, the plaintiffs argue that Trump’s violations harm the interest of Maryland and D.C. in “protecting their economies and residents.”
On January 19, 2018, the United States Supreme Court announced it would hear the Travel Ban III case (Trump v. Hawaii) this term. Per Adam Liptak in The New York Times, “[t]he justices are likely to hear arguments … in the spring and to issue a decision in late June.”
On August 28, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union together with the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP filed suit against Donald Trump and the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force on behalf of six current members of the armed forces who are transgender.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued President Trump, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and Vice President Michael Pence (who is Chair of the Commission) on July 10th, 2017 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Plaintiffs seek two forms of relief: 1) the Plaintiffs ask the court to “compel the Defendants to abide by the Federal Advisory Committee Act” (FACA) and 2) the Plaintiffs ask the court to declare that the Defendants violated FACA.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution of the United States, now commonly referred to as the “Foreign Emoluments Clause,” is the subject of three federal lawsuits which challenge President Trump’s alleged receipt of financial benefits from foreign governments and their representatives. The clause states that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state.” In a nutshell, Congressional approval is required when a federal officeholder is offered something of value. There is little controversy that the clause applies to the president.
He issued on March 6, 2017 a second Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The new EO, among other actions, temporarily suspends from “entry into the United States” certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and also temporarily suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Like the previous EO, the new EO has been challenged in federal court. On March 15, 2017, in State of Hawaii v. Trump, the court issued a nationwide TRO against implementation of the above-described provisions of the new EO, holding that Hawaii was likely to succeed on its claim that the new EO violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. …
He has declared that his administration would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, thereby enabling tax-exempt churches to endorse or oppose political candidates and to engage in lobbying activities. Courts have held that the Johnson Amendment does not violate the First Amendment.
The Johnson Amendment changed the tax code in 1954 to prevent 501(c)(3) entities—that is, tax-exempt charities, including churches—“from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” …
He signed the Executive Order (EO) entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.” The EO declares that it is the policy of the executive branch for a wall along the southern border with Mexico to be built. The EO orders the Secretary of Homeland Security to design and construct the wall, to allocate funding to the wall, and to prepare a Congressional budget request. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (“SFA”) is one of the statutes this EO relies on. The SFA authorizes the government to act as “necessary and appropriate.” The U.S. Supreme Court has held that under such a statute, “no regulation is ‘appropriate’ if it does significantly more harm than good.”
He signed the Executive Order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” The EO targets “sanctuary” jurisdictions, stating that it is the policy of the executive branch to “[e]nsure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal Funds, except as mandated by law” and “as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes[.]” Funding conditions not germane to the purpose of the funds raise a serious Tenth Amendment constitutional question.
He signed the Executive Order (EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The EO, among other actions, temporarily suspends the operation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and indefinitely bans the entry of Syrian refugees; temporarily suspends entry of all persons from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen; and institutes exceptions and preferences for refugees who are members of a religious minority and claim religious persecution.