Supreme Court Sides With The NRA, Liberals Fume

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

( – On Thursday, the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous decision allowing the National Rifle Association (NRA) to continue its free speech lawsuit against Maria Vullo, a former regulator from New York. The opinion, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, reinstated the NRA’s First Amendment claim against Vullo, the ex-head of the New York Department of Financial Services.

The case stems from Vullo’s 2017 investigation into the NRA following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, which reignited debates on gun control after 17 students and staff were killed. Vullo reportedly urged financial institutions and insurers under her watch to cut ties with the NRA, actions the NRA described as unconstitutional coercion by a government official.

The Supreme Court’s ruling does not determine the lawsuit’s final outcome but allows the NRA’s claim to proceed. The Court noted that subsequent proceedings must address whether Vullo’s actions constitute protected governmental advocacy or crossed into unconstitutional behavior. The ruling also pointed out that Vullo might still qualify for qualified immunity if found unconstitutional in her actions.

Justice Sotomayor highlighted in her opinion that while Vullo could criticize the NRA and enforce New York insurance laws, she could not use her regulatory authority to suppress the NRA’s advocacy efforts under the guise of enforcement.

The case saw the NRA supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, marking a rare collaboration due to their shared interest in defending First Amendment rights. William A. Brewer III, representing the NRA, hailed the decision as a pivotal victory for free speech.

On the other hand, Neal Katyal, representing Vullo, expressed disappointment, emphasizing that the Court’s decision was based on accepting the NRA’s claims as true for the sake of argument, despite alleging them to be factually baseless.

The decision has sparked considerable interest as it touches on the delicate balance between government oversight and the protection of free speech. Additional opinions from Justices Neil Gorsuch and Ketanji Brown Jackson highlighted the complexity of the issues at hand, with Justice Jackson advising that the lower courts should clearly differentiate between claims of censorship and retaliation as the case progresses.

Copyright 2024,