Akin Gump’s Joel Jankowsky and Thomas Goldstein argue that lobbying is constitutionally protected in this WSJ analysis.
The final clause of the First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people . . . to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The Supreme Court has called this right one of “the most precious of the liberties safeguarded by the Bill of Rights,” and one that “extends to all departments of the Government.” That right was derived from the earliest charters of liberty. The Declaration of Independence spoke to the importance of this freedom: “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”
Petitions can be about individual liberty. But they have no less standing when they involve varied interests, including business interests.