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“Head-of-State–Owned Enterprise” Immunity

Posted by on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 in Articles, Blog, Left column, Vol. 50 No. 4, Volume 50, Volumes.

While other wealthy individuals and businessmen have served and do serve as heads of state, the Trump presidency appears to be unique in terms of the global scope of the President’s business interests, his propensity to be sued, and his disinterest in disentangling his business interests from his official agenda. This Article conceptualizes Trump’s many business holdings and licenses under the Trump Organization International umbrella as a “head-of-state–owned enterprise.” This raises issues similar to cases involving both head-of-state and state-owned enterprise immunity. Considering existing immunity doctrines, including gaps and contested areas in the law pertaining to them, the Article identifies unique immunity questions that are likely to arise in connection with lawsuits against both President Trump and the Trump Organization during his time in office and beyond.

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