The brief order set oral arguments before a full panel of judges for Dec. 12 and essentially gives the novel lawsuit, which tests the anti-corruption emoluments provisions of the Constitution, a second chance.
In July, a unanimous three-judge panel said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) and D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) lacked legal grounds to bring the case alleging that the president violates the Constitution when his business accepts payments from state and foreign governments.
That decision, from three judges nominated by Republican presidents, also put a halt to dozens of subpoenas to federal agencies and Trump’s private business entities.
In a statement after the court’s order Tuesday, Frosh said “every single day, President Trump is receiving payments from foreign governments and from the United States. We intend to hold him accountable for violations of our nation’s original anti-corruption laws.”
A Justice Department representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit is one of three major cases testing for the first time the Constitution’s ban on the country’s leaders engaging in private business relationships with foreign governments.
In a New York case, brought by Trump’s business competitors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in September said a lower-court judge had improperly thrown out the case in late 2017. A separate case in Washington, filed by congressional Democrats, is on hold while Trump appeals.
The president has stepped back from day-to-day management of the Trump International Hotel and his other businesses, but he maintains ownership.
In the 4th Circuit case, the plaintiffs argued that payments Trump’s Washington hotel receives when foreign governments book large blocks of rooms and meeting space are violations of the foreign emoluments clause. The Justice Department called them market-rate deals that should not be considered emoluments.
The initial three-judge panel found the attorneys general did not have standing to bring their case against the president in part because they had failed to show that Trump’s conduct harmed the financial interests of Maryland and the District.
“There is a distinct possibility — which was completely ignored by the District and Maryland, as well as by the district court — that certain government officials might avoid patronizing the Hotel because of the President’s association with it,” wrote Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, who was joined by judges Dennis W. Shedd and A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.