provisions, of Sections 305 and 307 of the 1946 Lobbying Act, requiring quarterly statements of contributions and expenditures by persons who solicited, collected or received money to be used principally to aid, or whose principal purpose was to aid, in the passage or defeat of any legislation by Congress, or 'to influence, directly or indirectly,' the passage or defeat of legislation by Congress. The section of the Act containing the italicized language was held unconstitutionally vague in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The penalty, Section 310(b), applicable to violations of the above-mentioned filing requirements (as well as to violations of other sections of the Act), also was held invalid in that it proscribed any person convicted under the statute from attempting to influence legislation for a period of three years, thereby violating the constitutional right of every citizen to petition Congress. The court held no section unconstitutional except the sections mentioned above.
In the case of U.S. v. Harris, D.C., 109 F.Supp. 641, the court did not decide that Section 308
of the 1946 Lobbying Act, which in some ways is similar to Section 12(i) of the Holding Company Act, is unconstitutional standing by itself. In fact the same court had previously decided that Section 308 is not on its face unconstitutional
and that Section 308 for constitutional purposes is separable from the other sections of the Act.
What the court did decide in the Harris case is that Section 308 is rendered unconstitutional because and only because of the applicability to it of the same penalty provision previously held invalid in the McGarth case.
Defendants' contention that Section 12(i) involves arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination amounting to a denial of due process of law I overrule with only one brief comment. Section 12(i) makes it unlawful for 'any person' retained by any registered holding company or subsidiary thereof to present, advocate or oppose any matter affecting such company before the Commission, unless such person shall file certain specified statements. Lawyers are included within the term 'any person' and are subjected to exactly the same disclosure requirements as is anyone else who engages in activities within the purview of Section 12(i).
Defendants' final contention is that the Commission has waived the enforcement of Rule U-71 against them because for eight years, from 1944 to 1952, the Commission made no attempt to obtain their compliance with the rule. This contention also is without merit. The Supreme Court of the United States rejected a similar contention that the Federal Trade Commission had forfeited through non-user any power it may have possessed to require certain special reports of corporations, stating:
'The fact that powers long have been unexercised well may call for close scrutiny as to whether they exist; but if granted, they are not lost by being allowed to lie dormant. * * *.'
In the present case the powers were not permitted to lie dormant. Many other lawyers complied with the rule during the period when the defendants refused to comply.
Congress and the Commission, in my opinion, have clearly enough set forth disclosure requirements, which they considered necessary and proper, and there is no constitutional objection to what they have done. If Congress had enacted disclosure requirements for practice before the courts, perhaps a different constitutional problem would have been presented, namely the question of the possible encroachment by Congress upon the constitutional powers of the judicial branch of the government.
The plaintiff's motion for summary judgment will be granted. An order in accordance with the foregoing opinion may be submitted.