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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by six association-related lobbyists who challenged the Obama administration’s ban on lobbyists serving on government advisory boards.
The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by six lobbyists - four association lobbyists and two who represented associations on advisory boards. Five of the six were not kept on a government advisory panel after the ban was implemented. The lobbyists claimed the policy violated the First Amendment by depriving them of a valuable government benefit, to serve on industry trade advisory committees that provide advice to the Commerce Department or U.S. Trade Representative.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said, “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unemployment benefits, welfare payments, and public employment as valuable government benefits that cannot be withdrawn as a consequence of an individual’s exercise of his First Amendment rights….
"The loss of the ability to feature (advisory committee) service on a resume does not come close to imposing the type of burden involved in losing one’s job, unemployment benefits, welfare payments, or tax exemptions.”
The ban was to help reduce the influence of special interests in Washington, the White House said.