The Trump Administration has been unlawfully restricting access to a key portion of the Potomac River during President Trump’s frequent golf trips. When traveling for leisure, past Presidents have generally imposed only temporary and limited restrictions, and these security measures have been individually and publicly documented. President Trump has broken with that past practice by imposing a “permanent security zone” that cuts off the public’s legal right to use a two-mile stretch of the Potomac River abutting the Trump National Golf Club.

President Trump’s actions have harmed many who rely on the Potomac River. Veterans, paddlers training for the Olympics, summer campers, and recreational paddling groups, like the Canoe Cruisers Association, all use the stretch of the Potomac River subject to the “permanent security zone.” Their ability to access this popular section of the river is currently subject to restriction without advance warning because the “permanent security zone” can spring into effect whenever the President goes golfing, something he has spent nearly 25 percent of his days in office doing.

We filed suit to stop the unlawful river access restrictions on behalf of the Canoe Cruisers Association. The Trump Administration issued the “permanent security zone” with no end date, and made it effective without providing the public with notice and an opportunity to comment. In response to the congressional inquiry and public outcry, the Coast Guard pledged to revisit and revise the “permanent security zone.” But more than a year later, things remain unchanged. We’re asking the Court to declare that the Trump Administration’s actions violate the Administrative Procedure Act and order the Administration to replace the current “permanent security zone” with one that meaningfully addresses the public’s concerns about river access.

The government must respond to our lawsuit by January 14, 2019.

September 20, 2018

We filed suit, alleging that the Trump Administration was unlawfully restricting the public's right to access to a key portion of the Potomac River during President Trump’s frequent golf trips.

Nitin Shah

Senior Counsel

Holding the Executive Branch accountable through litigation.

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Ben Seel

Legal Analyst

Focusing on justice, law enforcement, national security, and immigration issues.

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