Donald Trump’s got more on his mind these days than Obamacare, building his wall, his approval rating going in the toilet, and Randy Newman writing a song about his penis. As The Boston Globe reports, he may also be the most sued president in American history.
Any businessman on Trump’s level has legal departments who hammer out his deals, handle his litigation, and defend him from lawsuits, and our previous presidents have also been sued as well. But in an administration that’s been defined by extremes, Trump’s lawsuit tally could be unprecedented.
As The Globe tells us, Trump has been sued a whopping 134 times in federal court since his inauguration, which is nearly three times the number of lawsuits our three previous presidents have faced in the early months of their administration combined. In comparison, Obama faced 26 lawsuits, George W. Bush had 7 lawsuits against him, and Bill Clinton had 15.
Who’s Suing Trump?
Among the people suing Trump include, big surprise, people with green cards who were hurt by the travel ban, as well as lawyers who claim Trump is violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments through a family law firm that helps run his hotels.
The sheer volume of lawsuits against Trump could be especially troublesome because as Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says, “In a courtroom, it’s not the loudest voice that prevails. You can’t tweet your way out of the courtroom.” (Ferguson is a Democrat lawyer who helped halt Trump’s travel ban that centered around seven Muslim countries.)
With many of these lawsuits, there’s clearly fear of the constitution being violated, and as Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, a Democrat who also went up against Trump’s travel ban, says, “Right now it seems like the courts are the only place we can go to uphold the Constitiution or the laws of the United States.”
The lawsuits are far reaching throughout the United States, and indeed, the travel ban is what’s spurned a lot of the litigation so far, with attorneys flying in to airports in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and New York on behalf of immigrants.
Bipartisan Concern Over Wealth of Lawsuits
And it’s not just Democrats that are concerned about Trump. Conservatives are also worried about the mass of litigation tying things up, potentially for years, with a poorly planned travel ban launching it all. As Jonathan Turley, a conservative legal scholar, told the Boston Globe, “It was a perfect storm, and it caused lasting damage to the administration. And because of the lack of a strategy it triggered more lawsuits. It was a target-rich environment…and the Justice Department was thrown into court with very little warning.”
And clearly, many Democratic attorneys are speaking very bluntly on this issue, like San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who said, “This is why we have courts – to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don’t understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it.”
Some Suits Hold Merit, But Many Are Frivolous
At the same time, as with many rich and powerful figures, a number of the suits filed against the president are frivolous, and indeed 69 of these lawsuits have already been dismissed.
Several of the ridiculous suits that were thrown out included people who claim that Trump’s presidency has affected their mental health. One prisoner who filed a suit said, “My health has deteriorated, I now have anxiety issues,” and he’s seeking a billion dollars in damages. A woman from Massachusetts also claimed that she’s lost sleep over him, going from four hours a night to two, and she has “experienced loss of enjoyment of life.” Another litigant from Nanuet, New York wants the presidency overturned, claiming Trump is a “a Russian spy.”
Frivolous or not, in the face of major litigation, Trump is quintessentially Trump. “When I get sued, I take it right- just take it all the way,” he said. “You know what happens? When you settle suits, you get sued more.” (As USA Today reports, Trump has been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits in his lifetime.)