Supreme Court hands down huge win to the NRA

NRA - National Rifle Association of America

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The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of First Amendment rights regarding the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Second Amendment advocacy. 

The Court’s decision affirmed that “The NRA’s ‘well-pleaded factual allegations,’ Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U. S. 662, 678–679, are taken as true at this motion-to-dismiss stage.”

The case addressed allegations that former New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) superintendent Maria Vullo coerced DFS-regulated banks and insurance companies “to punish or suppress the NRA’s gun-promotion advocacy.”

It alleges that Vullo abused her position of power in 2018, serving under Governor Andrew Cuomo, via “guidance letters” that urged these institutions to blacklist the NRA and other gun rights groups, in addition to utilizing “backroom threats.”

The case was initially dismissed by a federal appeals court in 2022 on the premise that Vullo’s actions were justified. This new ruling gives the NRA grounds to continue their legal battle against her. 

The Court opinion, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, stated, “As superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, Vullo allegedly pressured regulated entities to help her stifle the NRA’s pro-gun advocacy by threatening enforcement actions against those entities that refused to disassociate from the NRA and other gun-promotion advocacy groups.”

“Those allegations, if true, state a First Amendment claim,” Sotomayor concluded. 

Now, the NRA is allowed to continue arguing their case in the lower courts. 

Fox News reported that the ACLU’s national legal director, who argued the case for the NRA, David Cole stated, “Today’s decision confirms that government officials have no business using their regulatory authority to blacklist disfavored political groups.”

“The New York state officials involved here, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his chief financial regulator, Maria Vullo, were clear that they sought to punish the NRA because they disagreed with its gun rights advocacy,” he went on.

“The Supreme Court has now made crystal clear that this action is unconstitutional,” Cole concluded. 

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