Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the National Association of Manufacturers First Amendment challenges to recent revisions to federal lobbying disclosure rules. Among other things, NAM argued the law requires greater disclosure of NAM's membership, and that this would chill its members' involvement in public policy issues. The court found such arguments unavailing, and rejected the challenge. The 48-page opinion in National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor, by Judge Garland (joined by Judges Ginsburg and Henderson) begins:
More than fifty years ago, the Supreme Court held that the public disclosure of “who is being hired, who is putting up the money, and how much” they are spending to influence legislation is “a vital national interest.” United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612, 625-26 (1954). Today, we consider a constitutional challenge to Congress’ latest effort to ensure greater transparency, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. Because nothing has transpired in the last half century to suggest that the national interest in public disclosure of lobbying information is any less vital than it was when the Supreme Court first considered the issue, we reject that challenge.
Howard Bashman rounds up news coverage of the ruling here.