Congressional Democrats do have standing to sue President Trump over his continued relationship with his real estate company, a federal judge ruled Friday afternoon, giving the Trump opponents a chance to make their case in court.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s ruling does not find that the president is violating the Constitution. Instead it keeps Democrats alive in the courtroom, where they can continue to make that case and work for a broader ruling against Mr. Trump.
Led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, more than 200 Democrats in Congress have accused the president of violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by continuing to gain income from the Trump International hotel in Washington, and other properties.
They say that because foreign governments rent rooms at the hotel, Mr. Trump is enriching himself from those governments. The Constitution prohibits the president from taking any “emolument” from a foreign government unless he gets permission from Congress.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers had argued that individual members of Congress had no standing to sue, since they weren’t personally injured.
The lawmakers, though, argued that since Mr. Trump failed to come to them for permission, they did suffer an injury in not being given the chance to grant or withhold permission.
“Plaintiffs adequately allege that the president has completely nullified their votes in the past because he has accepted prohibited foreign emoluments as though Congress had provided its consent,” Judge Sullivan wrote.