Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled today that the emoluments clause case filed by Congressional Democrats can go forward.
In a 48-page ruling, Judge Sullivan ruled that Trump's definition of emoluments was unnecessarily restrictive. The Trump team argued that the definition should be narrowed to foreign payments received for official government action, and not all payments from a foreign government.
“The President’s definition, however, disregards the ordinary meaning of the term as set forth in the vast majority of Founding-era dictionaries; is inconsistent with the text, structure, historical interpretation, adoption, and purpose of the Clause; and is contrary to Executive Branch practice over the course of many years,” Judge Sullivan wrote in his opinion.
Democrats argue that the provision was included in the Constitution to ward off undue influence by foreign governments, by barring any gift or payment (emolument) without prior approval from Congress.
Judge Sullivan's ruling is expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, putting his newly-minted appointees to the test: Will they dance to the "one who brung them?"
Read the ruling below: