In ruling yesterday that an Emoluments Clause lawsuit can proceed against President Trump, a federal judge today relied heavily on scholarship by Professor John Mikhail of Georgetown Law.
In a short video, Prof. Mikhail recently explained what his research found about the original public meaning of “emolument.”
This definition is central to the case.
Today Judge Messitte citied Prof. Mikhail extensively and then sided with his conclusion, writing:
“In the Court’s view, the decisive weight of historical evidence supports the conclusion that the common understanding of the term ’emolument’ during the founding era was that it covered any profit, gain, or advantage, including profits from private transactions. Consideration of the purpose of both Emoluments Clauses confirms the broad interpretation of the term suggested by Plaintiffs.”