Donald Trump has lost an appeal to New York’s highest court to delay a defamation lawsuit filed by a former “Apprentice” contestant until he’s out of office.
The state Court of Appeals refused to delay the case brought by Summer Zervos because the lower court has not yet issued a final determination on the case’s constitutional ramifications.
Trump had argued that presidents are shielded from civil litigation in state courts under the US Constitution’s supremacy clause.
“New York’s highest court has rejected [Trump’s] motion for a stay,” said the attorney for Zervos, who sued the president last year after he called her a liar for saying he had sexually assaulted her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.
“This is now the third time the courts have rejected [Trump’s] effort to block the progress of the case,” said Zervos lawyer Mariann Wang.
“We look forward to continuing the discovery process and exposing the truth,” Wang said.
Earlier this month, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter, the trial judge overseeing the case, ordered that Trump be deposed by the end of January 2019.
“The New York State Court of Appeals’ decision today was on purely procedural grounds — that the order appealed from was not within that court’s jurisdiction because it was not the final order in the case. The Court of Appeals did not address the merits of the issue at stake here (an issue first raised by the U.S. Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones) — namely, that, under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, state courts do not have jurisdiction over a sitting President,” said Emily Thall, a spokeswoman for Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz.
Trump could still seek review before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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