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Berry v. Schmidt

Kentucky state law bans lobbyists from giving to state legislative campaigns, but the state legislative ethics commission decided that an incident involving a Kentucky senator's aides asking lobbyists for money was an innocent mistake that did not warrant discipline. Attorney John M. Berry publicly criticized the commission for their inaction and that merited a full-fledged 15-month investigation and a warning letter from the state bar association. Berry sued in federal court, arguing that the disciplinary rule was facially unconstitutional because it, inter alia, barred "reckless truths," true statements made with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity; the district court held the rule was not subject to a facial challenge, and that Rooker-Feldman barred a collateral attack on the actual discipline itself. [AP/Kentucky.com]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.