Press Coverage on the Emolument Clauses Litigation
On Monday, the Supreme Court effectively ended the Emoluments Clauses litigation. Howard Bashman rounded up more than a dozen media accounts. I’d like to commend Adam Liptak’s report for the New York Times. His account stands out, because he did not accept the Plaintiffs interpretation of the Foreign Emoluments Clauses as fact. Adam wrote:
The move means that there will be no definitive Supreme Court ruling on the meaning of the two provisions of the Constitution concerning emoluments, a term that means compensation for labor or services. One provision, the domestic emoluments clause, bars the president from receiving “any other emolument” from the federal government or the states beyond his official compensation.
The other provision, the foreign emoluments clause, bars anyone holding a federal “office of profit or trust” from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state” without the consent of Congress.
First, Adam did not define an”emolument” as anything of value, or something to that effect. He used a far more neutral definition: “compensation for labor or services.” Second, Adam did not state, as a matter of fact, that the Foreign Emoluments Clause applies to the President. Instead, he quoted the language used in the Constitution.
Way back in September 2017, Adam wrote about the briefs Seth Barrett Tillman and I filed in the CREW litigation. Even then, he understood the nuance of our position. And to
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