Federal Panel Reverses Ruling That Tossed KY Ethics Rules

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court’s ruling that lifted Kentucky’s ban on gifts and donations from lobbyists to lawmakers.

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in an opinion Thursday that because the Kentucky ethics laws “are closely drawn to further Kentucky’s anti-corruption interest, they pass constitutional muster.”

A federal judge in Kentucky struck down the laws in June 2017, saying it was permissible for lobbyists who are paid to influence legislation to give gifts to lawmakers. The judge also said it was OK for lobbyists to donate money to politicians’ campaign accounts and to raise money for their re-election bids.

The three judge panel wrote that with the ethics rules, “Kentucky’s legislature acted to protect itself and its citizens from the damaging effects of corruption.”