New York's top court shoots down Trump's bid to stall defamation lawsuit

  • The New York State Court of Appeals denied President Trump's request to delay a defamation suit against him.
  • That suit was brought by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice."
  • In March, New York state Judge Jennifer Schecter denied Trump's request to dismiss that lawsuit outright.
Summer Zervos during a news conference announcing the filing of a lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump in Los Angeles, January 17, 2017.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Summer Zervos during a news conference announcing the filing of a lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump in Los Angeles, January 17, 2017.

New York's highest court on Thursday denied President Donald Trump's attempt to put the brakes on a defamation suit from former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos.

The decision by the New York Court of Appeals marks another failed bid from Trump to halt or delay the lawsuit brought by Zervos.

"This is now the third time the courts have rejected defendant's effort to block the progress of this case," said Zervos' lawyer, Mariann Wang, in a statement to CNBC. "We look forward to continuing the discovery process and exposing the truth."

Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality television show, claims Trump groped her. She filed the defamation suit after Trump accused her of lying.

In March, New York State Judge Jennifer Schecter denied Trump's request to dismiss that lawsuit outright. Schecter rejected the argument from Trump's lawyers that a sitting president could not be sued in state court.

Trump's lawyers appealed the decision in April and had asked a lower court to delay the case. When that request for a delay was denied, Trump's lawyers asked the higher appeals court to grant the request to put the case on hold.

"On the court's own motion, appeal dismissed, without costs, upon the ground that the order appealed from does not finally determine the action within the meaning of the constitution," the court said in its decision on Thursday.

The office of Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said the Court of Appeals' decision was made "on purely procedural grounds" and did not address the merits of the case.

"The Court of Appeals did not address the merits of the issue at stake here," a spokesperson for Kasowitz's office said. "[...] Namely, that, under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, state courts do not have jurisdiction over a sitting President."

Trump has also denied claims of sexual misconduct brought by other women during the 2016 presidential campaign.