Lobbyists appeal federal court decision upholding Obama’s K Street ban

Lobbyists are appealing a federal court’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit against President Obama’s policy of banning K Streeters from federal advisory committees.

On Monday, lawyers representing six lobbyists who challenged the prohibition filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to court records. 


In September, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the federal government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit after finding K Street’s constitutional rights were not harmed by the administration banning lobbyists from serving on the boards.

In September 2011, lobbyists had filed a lawsuit against the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Those two government agencies oversee the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) — the advisory boards on which the lobbyists wanted to serve.

The lobbyists argued that the ban violated their First Amendment rights. Berman Jackson disagreed and tossed the case.

Their appeal will now go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The lobbyists behind the challenge are Erik Autor of the National Retail Federation; Nate Herman, who represented the Travel Goods Association on an advisory board; Cass Johnson of the National Council of Textile Organizations; Stephen Lamar of the American Apparel & Footwear Association; Bill Reinsch of the National Foreign Trade Council; and Andrew Zamoyski of Zamoyski and Co.

"We support the appeal and look forward to the appellate court’s review of the district court judge’s decision to dismiss the case," Autor said.

Lawyers from Mayer Brown are representing them in the case. One of their attorneys declined to comment for this piece when contacted by The Hill.

This story was updated at 12:48 p.m.