Supreme Court Issues New Ruling in Favor of NRA

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court unanimously determined that the National Rifle Association (NRA) “plausibly alleged” that the New York State Department of Financial Services violated the group’s First Amendment rights by blacklisting the group.

The high court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, found 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 case is the result of a lawsuit filed by the NRA in 2018.

The lawsuit questioned whether the First Amendment is violated when a government regulator threatens regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, allegedly due to the government’s opposition to the speaker’s viewpoint.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a lawsuit against Maria T. Vullo, the former superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Vullo is purportedly responsible for blacklisting the NRA, which effectively compelled banks and insurers to sever their relationships with the organization.

This action was implemented at the direction of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In 2018, she sent “guidance letters” to banks and insurance companies, urging them to cut ties with the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment organizations due to reputational risks.

The guidance letters were distributed immediately following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff.

In November, the Supreme Court consented to hear National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo, following the dismissal of the group’s lawsuit by a federal appeals court in 2022, which argued that Vullo’s actions were reasonable.

The Second Circuit was vacated by the high court on Thursday, and the case was remanded for further proceedings in accordance with the court’s opinion.

This means that the gun rights group can continue to present its case in lower courts.

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