The U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio overruled the Ohio law that previously required former lawmakers and legislative staff members to wait 12 months before being allowed to lobby their former colleagues.
While the Court agreed with some of the reasoning behind the law, which was to prevent unethical practices and prevent unequal access to the General Assembly, it found Ohio's law both over- and under-inclusive. The Court ruled the law was not narrow enough, because it prohibited lobbying regardless of whether it was an issue the person had worked on while in the legislature and because it included unpaid lobbying. The Court found the law was under-inclusive because it did not restrict gifts, employment offers or other potential corruption-inducing activities of former members. It also said the law "severely burdened plaintiffs' First Amendment rights." The ruling can be appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.