Trump Team's Moving of Stormy Daniels Suit Carries Risks: Analysis - NBC Southern California
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Trump Team's Moving of Stormy Daniels Suit Carries Risks: Analysis

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing to challenge the validity of a non-disclosure agreement about an alleged "intimate" relationship she says she signed in exchange for $130,000 in the fall of 2016

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    Trump Team's Moving of Stormy Daniels Suit Carries Risks: Analysis
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
    The actress Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, arrives to perform at the Solid Gold Fort Lauderdale strip club in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Friday, March 9, 2018. She claims to have had an affair with President Donald Trump and has filed a lawsuit against him in an attempt to nullify a nondisclosure deal with Trump attorney Michael Cohen days before Trump's 2016 presidential victory.

    How are a consulting firm and President Donald Trump able to singlehandedly take a lawsuit by adult film star Stormy Daniels out of her chosen forum in California state court?

    The answer begins with the Constitution, which extends the federal judicial power to cases between "Citizens of different States," according to a legal analysis by NBC News. The Framers included “diversity jurisdiction” in the Constitution at least in part to protect out-of-state plaintiffs from the possible bias of local state courts.

    The modern diversity statute gives federal courts power to hear civil cases where (1) the dollar amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, and (2) the parties are citizens of different states. The federal removal statute allows defendants to unilaterally drag a case from state court up to federal court, so long as the federal court could hear the case — which it can, if there’s diversity jurisdiction.

    Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing to challenge the validity of a non-disclosure agreement about an alleged "intimate" relationship she says she signed in exchange for $130,000 in the fall of 2016, while Trump was running for president. The White House has denied the allegations against Trump.