A Profiteering Presidency?: A Conversation on the Emoluments Clause Litigation with Richard Painter ’87
Before the Trump presidency, few of us had any idea that there was such a thing as the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution. We now know that it exists, but we still aren’t quite sure what it means—or, at least, the courts aren’t yet sure. But there are three ongoing lawsuits against President Trump—in New York, Virginia, and D.C.—alleging that he is illegally profiting from his office through his family businesses in violation of this anti-corruption constitutional provision. Just last Friday, the Second Circuit revived the New York lawsuit, finding that the district court had improperly dismissed the case and ordering that it be allowed to proceed. This Thursday, we are lucky to be joined on campus by Richard Painter ’87 for a breakfast conversation about these cases. As a vice chair at Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), Mr. Painter was one of the lawyers who originated the lawsuit in New York on behalf of CREW and other plaintiffs. Please join us for a timely and interesting discussion.
The Constitution is turning 232 this coming Tuesday. Often revered by citizens, academics, and politicians, this is an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failings of this document. How have the roots of the Constitution shaped its efficacy today? How should we use this document going forward? Please join Professor Monica Bell and Professor Gerald Torres as they discuss these questions.
Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a Brennan Center Fellow and a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law. Prior to joining Stetson’s faculty, she was Counsel in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP and a staffer for Senator Richard Durbin. She will be speaking about her new book, Political Brands, which is about branding overtaking truth in current American politics. Each chapter investigates another part of American political life that has become branded. The book explores how presidential candidates since Eisenhower have used commercial branding techniques to sell themselves and demonize their opponents. And the book explains how commercial brands are getting stuck in the political thicket.
Ganesh Sitaraman is Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, Professor of Law, and Director of the Program on Law and Government at Vanderbilt Law School. One of the nation’s leading progressive legal scholars, Professor Sitaraman writes widely on constitutional law and political theory, economic and foreign policy, and other issues. From 2011 to 2013, Professor Sitaraman was Policy Director on Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign, and subsequently worked as her Senior Counsel in the United States Senate.
Professor Sitaraman’s most recent book, The Public Option, with Anne Alstott, advocates for the greater use of government-provided services coexisting with the private sector to meet important public needs while spurring competition. And his recent article, “How to Save the Supreme Court,” with Daniel Epps, proposes several innovative ways to reform the Supreme Court and has already had an impact on the Democratic presidential primary.
In conversation with Professor Alstott, Professor Sitaraman will discuss The Public Option, court reform, and other issues like policymaking and the law, the revival of progressive ideas, working on political campaigns, and more.