Is the Lobbying Disclosure Act Unconstitutional As Regulating the Practice of Law ?
In Gmerek v. State Ethics Commission, 569 Pa. 579, 807 A.2d 812 (2002), individual members of the PBA brought a declaratory judgment action alleging that the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 65 Pa.C.S. 1301-1311, was unconstitutional as regulating the practice of law.
The petitioners in that case were attorneys who engaged in lobbying activities.
A divided Supreme Court upheld the Commonwealth Court's ruling that the Lobbying Disclosure Act violated the Pennsylvania Constitution by infringing on the Supreme Court's exclusive authority to regulate the practice of law.
Our Supreme Court held that the Lobbying Disclosure Act was unconstitutional because several of the provisions (relating to reporting requirements and prohibited activities) regulated activities that, when performed by attorneys, constituted the practice of law.