"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tillman and Blackman: bringing light to President Trump and the Constitution's emoluments clause

If you've been following NRC's Facebook page, you know that this blog's own Professor Seth Barrett Tillman has co-authored a series of posts with Professor Josh Blackman over at the Washington Post online detailing flaws in efforts to apply the emoluments clause of the Constitution to President Trump and his private business activities. Their work there is high-level constitutional and historical scholarship packaged to be accessible to a non-specialist audience. And it makes crystal clear that which so many of the leading "scholars" of constitutional law would rather have opaque.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Professor Tillman took a lot of flack prior to publishing this series for his views on the emoluments clause and its applicability to President Trump. We won't go into that here, but here's a New York Times story about the controversy about Tillman's groundbreaking scholarship regarding the emoluments clause and its applicability to the president. His work with Professor Blackman is so definitive that his leading critics have issued formal apologies to him. Some of those apologies are online here and here.

Why is all this important? Because the emoluments clause is the basis of a lawsuit designed, ultimately, to pressure President Trump from office by targeting his businesses. The strategy targeting Trump's businesses is outlined in this post over at Instapundit. Tillman and Blackman have done yeoman's service in showing how weak the overall legal arguments against the president truly are.

2 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

I can't wait to see what the courts do with this, especially on standing. Tribe and CREW rounded up some plaintiffs who allege they're being damaged by foreigners choosing to curry favor with Trump rather than using plaintiff facilities.

This is bunk, and CREW is completely unethical here, perverting the letter of the law fo baldly partisan purposes. Nobody is being damaged.

Cynical. Repulsive.

“I joined this lawsuit because the president is taking business away from me and others with unfair business practices that violate the Constitution,” Phaneuf said in a written statement. She declined to comment when asked if she could cite an example where a Trump hotel had taken her business away.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/two-plaintiffs-join-suit-against-trump-alleging-breach-of-emoluments-clause/2017/04/17/1d4aaa70-238a-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html?utm_term=.24d0a2898b53

Mark D. said...

Seth has done critical work, along with his co-author Prof. Blackman, on this topic. But will the courts pay attention to their work?