Defending Our Members’ First Amendment Rights

By March 5, 2008Briefly Legal

In today’s “The Hill,” National Association of Manufacturers’ President John Engler explains the reasons the NAM brought the lawsuit, NAM v. Taylor.

Lobbying is a constitutionally protected activity that warrants as much legal protection as publishing a newspaper, joining together in prayer or gathering on a street corner for a protest. Section 207 of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act strikes directly at that activity by demanding burdensome and intrusive disclosures — disclosures that would effectively discourage many of our members from speaking out in the first place. When the NAM and our members’ rights are threatened in this way, there is no choice. Lobbying gives way to legal action, and we turn to the courts for justice.

The NAM’s materials on the suit are available at our Legal Beagle search engine, here.

  • NAM complaint.
  • NAM motion and memo for preliminary injunction.
  • NAM news release.
  • From the opposing side:

    The brief from U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor is available here as a .pdf file. To read the brief filed for defendants Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson, and Clerk of the House of Representatives Lorraine C. Miller, click here. .

    An amicus from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government Washington is available here and a brief from the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and Public Citizen is here.

    UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): Corrected the name of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group’s news release is here.

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