In a blow against corporate power on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled against six lobbyists who sued over the Obama Administration’s new rules on corporate lobbyists on advisory committees. These rules, put into place in 2009, prevent registered lobbyists from serving on industry trade advisory committees which advice the Commerce Department or U.S. Trade Representative. By so doing, the new rules prevent corporate or foreign influence over commerce and trade decisions, an issue which has become rampant over the past few decades as our manufacturing and trade strength has eroded.
The lawsuit claimed that the prohibition was an affront to their first amendment rights. In the suit, they claimed that by their inability to serve on these committees, they were in effect isolated from being able to petition the government.
In her ruling against the lobbyists, Justice Berman Jackson made the following statement:
The Supreme Court has recognized tax exemptions, unemployment benefits, welfare payments, and public employment as valuable government benefits that cannot be withdrawn as a consequence of an individual’s exercise of his First Amendment rights. In each of these contexts, the plaintiffs were deprived of a nontrivial economic benefit.
Appointed by President Obama in 2010, Justice Berman Jackson is no stranger to the spotlight, having served as a legal analyst on Fox News, CNN, NBC and MSNBC in the past. Before being appointed to the court, Justive Berman Jackson was a lawyer who specialized in complex litigation, criminal investigations and defense, both criminal and civil trials, as well as appeals.
No word as of yet if the lobbyists are going to attempt and appeal the decision.
- Judge backs lobbyist ban on gov’t boards
- District Judge Amy Berman Jackson
- Civil Action No. 11-1593 (ABJ) ERIK O. AUTOR v. REBECCA BLANK