Elizabeth Joh, a professor at the UC Davis School of Law, co-hosts with Roman Mars the podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law.

Follow Elizabeth Joh on Twitter: @elizabeth_joh.


Year One: Stress Testing the Constitution

A man at an anti-Donald Trump protest outside the Plaza Hotel, New York City, December 11, 2015

Trump’s lawyers deny that the president’s continued receipt of business from foreign, federal, and state governments violates the Constitution. They may be right. And it may be difficult to persuade a court that anyone has standing—the appropriate injury—that would permit a lawsuit in the first place. But while profiting from the presidency may not violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses, refusing to follow routine conflict of interest practices shows a contempt for norms. We might quibble about what counts as an emolument, but we should raise questions about a president unconcerned about mixing private profit and public duty.