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Birthers, Gifters and Standing

OPINION: Courts found that birthers didn't have standing to bring suits. CREW doesn't either.

Eight years ago, the courts were awash in so-called "birther" lawsuits alleging that both then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, were not natural born citizens and, therefore, neither was eligible to run for president.

A federal court in New York is now faced with the first "gifter" lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump's business interests violate the emoluments clause, a provision in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits officers from accepting gifts from foreign governments "without the consent of the Congress."

The suit was filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which is represented by, among others, two well-regarded constitutional scholars: Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

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