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Wagar & Others Sue FL Ethics Commission Over Constitutional Amendment

On December 22, 2022, Crystal Wagar and other municipal officials around the state filed a suit against the state of Florida Ethics Commission to challenge the lobbying restriction, which is to take effect on January 1, 2023. This law resulted from a constitutional amendment approved by 80% of the electorate in 2018. The provision prohibits lobbying by certain public officers both during public service and for a six-year period following their vacation of public office. Read more about the law here.

Wagar's lawsuit argues that the law unjustifiably and unconstitutionally restricts the Plaintiffs’ core political speech rights, associational rights, and rights to petition the government. Read the complaint here.

Despite the constitutional amendment having passed in 2018, Wagar and her co-plaintiffs waited until 9 days before the law is to take effect before filing their suit. This morning the Court agreed with the State that the Plaintiffs' delay in filing their suit was not deserving of emergency treatment and denied their request to stay the implementation of the law pending the outcome of the case. The result is that Wagar and her co-plaintiffs could face liability if they may retain their seats in office and their paid positions as lobbyists once the law takes effect on January 1st.

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