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A federal judge upheld President Obama's ban on lobbyists serving on government boards and advisory panels.
A federal judge upheld the Obama administration's ban on lobbyists serving on government boards and advisory panels, ruling against six lobbyists who wanted to serve on such boards.
The Washington Post reported that US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the lobbyists had failed to make their case that the policy violated their constitutional rights. Berman said the lobbyists had "no legal entitlement" to serve on advisory boards or committees, and said the policy did not deny them a "valuable government benefit."
She said the lobbyists had failed to show what they lost by not serving on the government boards, according to Reuters.
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Berman ruled that Obama was within his authority to bar them, despite the lobbyists arguing that the ban penalized them for "exercising their right to petition the government," Reuters reported.
The Obama administration has taken a firm stance in reducing the power of lobbyists, pledging to keep federal lobbyists out of Obama's re-election campaign. In October 2011, the Obama campaign's press secretary Ben LaBolt said, "Reducing the influence of special interests over the policymaking process won't happen overnight--there are many institutional forces fighting tooth and nail to make sure that it does not," according to CBS News.
Critics of the ban have questioned how effective it is, noting that the ban specifically applies to registered lobbyists. Reuters said those with jobs similar to lobbying can find legal loopholes to avoid registering.
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