The controversial legal theory that could get Trump sued

Under the theory, competitors to Trump’s U.S. hotels or even some of his Trump-branded properties overseas could claim their businesses are being hurt as foreign nations seek to curry favor with Trump.

Many conservative legal scholars contend that the approach, known as “competitor standing,” undermines the Constitution’s limits on the powers of the courts.

However, the doctrine has been repeatedly embraced by advocates for stricter immigration policies, including a group affiliated with Trump backer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and by Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute, which says it opposes mass immigration, has leveled the competitor standing argument repeatedly in recent years to help plaintiffs get standing to block immigration and labor policies alleged to put American workers at a disadvantage.