Trade group seeks to enjoin federal lobbying and ethics law

AP News reports:

The National Association of Manufacturers is suing the government over the new federal lobbying and ethics law, contending it jeopardizes its members’ First Amendment rights.

The trade group, which filed the suit on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is also seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of a provision in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

“This pernicious law should be seen as a potentially lethal threat to trade associations,” the trade group’s president John Engler, a former Michigan governor, said in a press release.

The law requires trade associations to release the names of members, who contribute more than $5,000 in a quarterly period for lobbying activities, which the group said violates their members’ privacy. Congress tightened the lobbying-disclosure requirements to target “stealth coalitions” or groups that use nondescript names to lobby for industries. The Coalition of Fair Lumber and International Interactive Alliance are among examples the Center for Responsive Politics names as under-the-radar groups.

You can access the complaint here.

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