The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

End of the Road for the Emoluments Clauses litigation

After four years of litigation, the Supreme Court GVR'd appeals from the 2nd and 4th Circuits "with instructions to dismiss the case as moot."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |


On January 23, 2017–only three days after the inauguration–the first Emoluments Clauses case was filed in the Southern District of New York. Four years later, almost to the date, the Supreme Court found this challenge, and a related case from Maryland, were moot.

Readers of this blog have no doubt followed my work on this case with Seth Barrett Tillman. Over the past four years, we filed nearly two dozen briefs in three District Courts, three Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court. Plus, we wrote many op-eds, blog posts, and gave countless media interviews. I was also able to attend oral arguments in each of the District Courts, and two of the Circuit Courts.

In time, I will have much more to say about these cases. For now, I am grateful that the Supreme Court granted our motion for leave to file amicus briefs. Here are the Supreme Court's first, last, and only words on the Emoluments Clauses:

20-330 TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF U.S. V. CREW, ET AL.

The motion of Scholar Seth Barrett Tillman, et al. for leave to file a brief as amici curiae is granted. The motion of Professor Lawrence A. Hamermesh for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. See United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36 (1950).

20-331 TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF U.S. V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ET AL.

The motion of Scholar Seth Barrett Tillman, et al. for leave to file a brief as amici curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. See United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36 (1950).