Defending an Anti-Corruption Law in Oklahoma (Institute for Justice v. Laster, et al.)


At a Glance

CLC represents the Oklahoma Ethics Commission in defending an ethics law that prevents lobbyists from corrupting Oklahoma public officials with gifts.

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About this Case

Oklahoma is one of many states that restricts lobbyists from making excessive gifts to lawmakers and public officials. This law protects the legislative and electoral process from corruption by drawing a strong ethical line between public servants and the lobbyists who are paid to influence them.

The plaintiff in this case, Institute for Justice, sued the Ethics Commission in September 2019. They argue that Oklahoma’s gift ban infringes on lobbyists’ constitutional right to give lawmakers and public officials certain “informational” materials of a monetary value greater than the law allows.

But the lobbyist gift restrictions do not prevent lobbyists from sharing information with public officials; they only restrict valuable gifts. These laws give the public confidence that the government is working for them and is not corrupted by the possibility of receiving gifts. And they ensure that public servants actually serve the public’s interest.

This case is in its early stages.

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