DEFINITION of 'Lobby'

A group of like-minded people banded together to influence an authoritative body, or the act of trying to exert that influence, (i.e., lobbying). A lobby is typically formed to influence government officials to act in a way beneficial to the lobby's best interests - either through favorable legislation or by blocking unfavorable measures. Lobby groups consist of individuals, groups and companies and can be found across the globe. Because of the negative effect lobbies can have by essentially circumventing the democratic process, some countries have seen fit to regulate their activities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lobby'

Although lobbies have received a bad name, they have also been instrumental in protecting or advancing human rights. In the 1950s, for example, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed lawsuits in state and federal courts challenging existing segregation laws. As a result of these suits, the Supreme Court eventually declared such laws unconstitutional.

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