Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
In this article, I argue that with regard to the President, the Emoluments Clause is not law. I argue for this on the basis of two premises. First, if something is a law, then it has a legal remedy. Second, EC does not have a legal remedy. This premise rests on one or more of the following assumptions: EC does not apply to the President; if EC were to apply to the President, it does not provide a remedy; or, if EC were to apply to the President and have a remedy, it is not law because it is vague. The conclusion that EC does not apply to the President has a practical upshot. As a practical matter, President Trump’s worldwide business tentacles and his refusal to put his business assets into a blind trust does not violate EC and, arguably, does not violate federal conflict-of-interest law.
Keywords Emoluments Clause  Constitution  President  Donald Trump  Legal Reasoning  Nature of Law  Impeachment
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ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap201771081
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