May 31, 2024

Supreme Court unanimously sides with the NRA

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have just sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA). 

Not only that, but Fox News reports that the justices did so unanimously, 9 to 0.

And, as a bonus, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the court's opinion.

Democrats, as you can probably guess, are not too happy about all of this.


Although the case has to do with the NRA, it does not have to do with the Second Amendment's "right of the people to keep and bear arms."

Rather, the case has to do with the First Amendment's free speech protections. This helps to explain why the court's ruling was 9 to 0.

Fox News provides the relevant background of the case, writing:

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the NRA in 2018 which questioned whether a government regulator [who] threatens regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, allegedly because of the government's own hostility to the speaker's viewpoint, violates the First Amendment.

The government regulator, according to the Associate Press, is ex-New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo.

The NRA attempted to bring a lawsuit against Vullo for allegedly blacklisting the group. This lawsuit, however, was thrown out by the lower courts, and those decisions were appealed to the Supreme Court by the NRA.

Vacated and Remanded

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have now vacated the Second Circuit's ruling and have remanded the case for further proceedings.

In other words, the Supreme Court is allowing the NRA's case against Vullo to proceed.

Sotomayor wrote that the court "holds that the NRA plausibly alleged that Vullo violated the First Amendment by coercing DFS-regulated entities to terminate their business relationships with the NRA in order to punish or suppress the NRA’s advocacy."

The justice added:

Six decades ago, this Court held that a government entity’s "threat of invoking legal sanctions and other means of coercion" against a third party "to achieve the suppression" of disfavored speech violates the First Amendment. Today, the Court reaffirms what it said then: Government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties in order to punish or suppress views that the government disfavors. Petitioner National Rifle Association (NRA) plausibly alleges that respondent Maria Vullo did just that.

The NRA is celebrating this victory, while representatives for Vullo claim that, ultimately, the NRA's case will fail because it has "no evidentiary merit."

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