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Obama administration eases key part of lobbying restriction after court defeat

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WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is easing a key part of its rule restricting lobbyists from serving in government.

The move comes after a judge ruled against the administration in a court case filed by several lobbyists.

Under the rule change, registered lobbyists will now be allowed to service on federal advisory committees if they are representing an entity, recognizable group of people or state and local governments. They cannot serve only to represent their individual interests.

Obama included the original restriction in an ethics package seeking to restrict lobbyists influence on government.

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