Court Throws out Florida Lobbyist Lawsuit

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A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit over a state law banning lobbyists' gift-giving to legislators and requiring that lobbyists disclose who pays them and how much.

The lawsuit was filed by lobbyists who claimed that disclosing their compensation was unconstitutional on privacy and equal protection grounds.

Lobbying firms also have no protected right to privacy under either the federal or state constitution because they give that right to people, not corporations.

The judge had previously refused to temporarily block enforcement of the law in May.

The decision was a victory for Senate President Tom Lee who led the fight for passage during a special legislative session. One of the toughest ethics laws in the nation, it bans gifts from lobbyists and forces disclosure of information. It took effect in January 2006.

The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.