Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Professors Aprill and Hasen on lobbying

Professors Ellen Aprill and Rick Hasen co-authored the article "Lobbypalooza" for The American Interest magazine. The article briefly describes the history of tax-related and disclosure-related regulation of lobbying. It also flags some developments in the lower courts, in which lower courts are relying on Citizens United to strike down some lobbying regulations. Hasen describes those lower court developments in his draft, "Lobbying, Rent Seeking, and the Constitution" (posted on SSRN).

Excerpt from "Lobbyapalooza":

"In the face of the financial crisis, partisan recriminations and other problems of contemporary American governance, some have urged limits on lobbying in order to promote the public interest. They fear not only potential lobbyist corruption, but also lobbyists facilitating a raiding of the public fisc...Lobbyists provide legislators and other government officials with crucial information and convey the points of view of important constituencies. A responsive government needs to hear various viewpoints, and in a complex world legislators and staffers need help analyzing, and even writing, important legislation. It is hard to imagine the U.S. government today functioning without lobbying. Moreover, lobbying also enjoys constitutional protections. The First Amendment guarantees both free speech and the right to petition the government.

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