The District of Columbia and the State of Maryland filed a LOLsuit against Donald Trump in both his official and personal capacities claiming that Trump was violating the Emoluments Clause of Article II of the Constitution. The U. S. District Court of Maryland ruled against the President’s official and personal motions to dismiss, and the judge refused to certify an interlocutory appeal of his rulings. Trump took the unusual steps (official and personal) of seeking writs of mandamus from the Fourth Circuit ordering the certification of the appeal. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals took the even more unusual action of granting the writs of mandamus Trump sought.
The TL:DR is this: The Court of Appeals ruled that the district judge was wrong on the law, so the case has been remanded with instructions that it be dismissed with prejudice.
The District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties. In any event, for the reasons given, we grant the President’s petition for a writ of mandamus and, taking jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), hold that the District and Maryland do not have Article III standing to pursue their claims against the President. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s orders denying the President’s motion to dismiss filed in his official capacity, and, in light of our related decision in No. 18-2488, we remand with instructions that the court dismiss the District and Maryland’s complaint with prejudice.
Trump Derangement Syndrome doesn’t seem to be a valid cause of action.
The Hill reports that a couple of thugs assaulted a citizen who is a legal immigrant, apparently because he was wearing a MAGA hat. The attack occurred in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is a “sanctuary” county. The victim Astu Nable came from Togo in 2007. He has become a citizen and is a staunch supporter of President Trump.
“I like everything that he does. Like, I came here legally,” Nable said. “Why can’t all people come here legally then? I went through the right process, the proper channels and I’m here, so why can’t they do the same thing?”
Jake Astu. It’s Chinatown MoCo.
Last month, Judge Paul Grim granted a preliminary injunction preventing the State of Maryland from enforcing some campaign advertising reporting laws while the lawsuit filed by a group of Maryland Newspapers and the Washington Post is proceeding in the U. S. District Court. The newspapers assert (correctly in my view) that the law which affects their websites violates the freedoms of press and speech protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendment. You can read more about the suit here and here. It turns out that I have a dog the fight, because Hogewash! sometimes has enough traffic to be subject to the law as well.
This week, the State filed notice of an appeal of the injunction to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A group of news organizations led by the Washington Post has sued the State of Maryland over a poorly crafted and patently unconstitutional set of laws that try to regulate online political advertising. Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court has granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the State from enforcing the laws while the case is pending. Granting such an injunction means that the court believes that the plaintiffs are likely to win the case on the merits and that they will suffer irreparable harm without injunctive relief.
The best line in the Memorandum Opinion is on page 35. Discussing the State’s case, Judge Grim notes,
These are not the arguments of a party that is confident in its case.
The Maryland laws are so over broad that a site as small as Hogewash! could be affected by their reporting requirements.
I don’t agree with Larry Hogan on several issues that are important to me (i.e., Second Amendment rights), but the alternative is Ben Jealous, a politician with whom I have essentially no common ground. While the choice may not be as bad as Trump v. Hillary, it still stinks.
Once again, I’m faced with Jerry Garcia’s Dilemma (“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”), but I’ll vote for Hogan for governor.
I’ve been following a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland by a group of newspapers against the Maryland Election Commission seeking to overturn a vague and patently unconstitutional law dealing with online political advertising. It turns out that I have a dog in that fight because there are months when the traffic here at Hogewash! is sufficient for the law to apply to this blog.
The newspapers are seeking a preliminary injunction prohibiting the State from enforcing the law. A hearing is scheduled on their motion on 16 November before Judge Paul Grimm. I plan to cover that hearing.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland State Police will not become involved if someone files a formal complaint relating to the Ford/Kavanaugh brouhaha. This is because of a memorandum of understanding between the MSP and the Montgomery County Police giving primary jurisdiction over sex crimes to the County Police. The County Police have said that they will not open an investigation without a formal complaint, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office has said they would have no comment on the matter until after a charge is filed.
In any event, it appears that the statue of limitations has run out. The BS reports that
[l]egal experts doubt that a case could be made against Kavanaugh even if someone makes a complaint.
For one thing, if attempted rape in the first degree was the most appropriate charge, that was a misdemeanor in the 1980s in Maryland. It did not become a felony in the state until 1996. Former Attorney General Doug Gansler, who also served as Montgomery County state’s attorney, noted that Maryland’s statute of limitations for misdemeanors for an offense committed in the 1980s expired long ago.
Gansler, a Democrat, also noted Kavanaugh was a juvenile at the time, further complicating any investigation and prosecution. He said the type of acts that have been alleged are not ones for which juveniles are typically charged as adults.
Even if charges could be brought, Gansler said that based on the accounts he’s seen, it would be difficult to prove an alleged assailant had the intent to complete a forcible rape and would not have stopped short of that.
If you’ve lost a Democrat former state Attorney General, it may be time to move on.