I would assume that it falls under the “free speech” part of the constitution. They aren’t forcing anyone to believe the same way, merely trying to persuade and change the minds of both the people and of the politicians. Think of them like a used car salesman; they’re trying to get you to buy what they’re selling, and they’re willing to compromise to get what they want. So, in this, they aren’t really breaking any laws, except for when the offer bribes, etc, but that is incredibly hard to prove, so… no one really worries about them.
It’s sort of a Cath-22, infinite loop kind of situation. The politicians get funded by the lobbyists, and the politicians are in control of legislation regarding lobbying. They are obviously not going eliminate lobbying all together, because they would lose a large chunk of funding and the support of the lobbyists’ constituencies.
Lobbyists are, indeed, protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law….abridging the freedom of speech….or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Lobbying is really just advocating for a particular point of view. Special interests groups and organizations risk losing their tax-exempt status by lobbying, but it’s not illegal in any way.
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