Venable partner Ron Jacobs
was quoted in an October 3, 2013 Politico
article on a proposal by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) to ban lobbyist from the Capitol during the government shutdown. While most of the federal government is shut down, the Capitol and its office building remain open to the public and staffers, though there are fewer open entrances resulting in long lines through security. Under Rep. Cicilline’s proposal, constituents and others would still have access to the Capitol.
According to Jacobs, such a proposal would be difficult, if not illegal, to enforce since lobbyists and their activities are protected by law and the buildings would still be open to the general public. “It would be pretty unprecedented, I would say, to ban lobbyists from the Capitol complex,” Jacobs said. “I can’t imagine that a court would uphold that.” He added, “To me, you’re taking a constitutionally protected form of speech — in lobbying — and saying you can’t do it.”