The Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C.
Janhvi Bhojwani | CNBC
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two cases over whether former President Donald Trump had illegally profited from his dealings during his tenure.
The lawsuits, filed by a nonprofit organization and the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, alleged the former president violated the constitution's compensation clauses, little-known provisions that prohibit presidents from gifts from local or foreign governments to obtain.
The cases were due to be dismissed after President Joe Biden's election in November. Maryland, D. C. and Citzens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the nonprofit that brought one of the cases, asked the judges not to hear the matter.
The suits cooked for much of Trump's presidency, an indication of the unusual ethical conflicts sparked by the president's refusal to dismiss his business empire when he took office.
Maryland and D.C. alleged Trump violated that ban by receiving money when guests – often foreign officials – stayed at his Washington hotel.
CREW, which represented high-end companies allegedly competing with Trump's own facilities, complained similarly about Trump's hotel and restaurant properties in New York.
Deepak Gupta, a CREW attorney, argued in court records that his clients had a "distinct disadvantage" in competing for foreign and domestic government clients: while they can offer the best of hospitality, they cannot offer the opportunity to favor the president. ""
Two federal appeals courts, based in New York and Richmond, have issued judgments that have moved the cases forward. In September the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to overturn these decisions and resolve the dispute.
After Biden's election, the state, DC governments and CREW all called on the court not to take the cases.
In a brief report, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine told the court, "In any event, the outcome of the recent presidential election eliminates the need for this court to intervene."
Attorneys from CREW, Maryland, D.C. and the Trump Organization did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Supreme Court action came in one order with no established disagreement.