WASHINGTON — In a legal victory for President Trump, a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that profits earned by his Washington hotel while he is in office violate the Constitution.
A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., found that the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia had no legal standing to sue Mr. Trump.
The judges said that the complaint was extraordinary and of national significance, justifying their intervention at an early stage in the case, before evidence-gathering begins.
Attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia alleged that evidence would show that Mr. Trump had violated anti-corruption clauses of the Constitution that restrict the ability of federal officials to obtain financial benefits or “emoluments” from state or foreign governments.
“The District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts,” the panel wrote in its decision.
The suit brought by Maryland and the District of Columbia is one of two challenging Mr. Trump’s ability to profit from his hotel while in office. The other case, brought by Democrats in Congress, is continuing, although the administration is fighting that one as well.
Mr. Trump quickly expressed satisfaction with Wednesday’s appeals court decision.