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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Supreme Court upholds lobbyist gift ban



UPDATE: Lobbyist Ron Book said the lobbyists may take a look at their options for a rehearing with Supreme Court. He said he still believes the Legislature mishandled the bill, but much of the court arguments didn't focus on that argument. "It's really, really hard to get the court to rehear a case," Book said.

The Florida Supreme Court today upheld the 2005 law that put a strict gift ban on all legislators and state elected officials as constitutional. Lobbyists including Ron Book and Guy Spearman has sued to reverse the law.

A federal district court had backed the law, but an appeals court had ruled the Florida Supreme Court needed to address state constitutional questions.

"We find that the Act (I) does not violate Florida's separation of powers doctrine; (II) was validly enacted by the Florida Legislature; and (III) does not infringe on the Florida Supreme Court's jurisdiction to regulate lawyers or the practice of law," the court ruled

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:32pm]


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