SCOTUS Gives NRA Win In First Amendment Case

( – It’s no secret that Liberals who find themselves in power in Blue States will go to great lengths to promote their Agenda items, be it abortion, illegal immigration, or gun control. The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) claims that they were unfairly targeted by the fine, upstanding upper echelons in the executive branch of New York, and so they filed suit. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently issued a ruling upholding the organization’s right to have their day in court.

Crossing a Line

The NRA sued several individuals in 2018, including then-superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) Maria Vullo and disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo, alleging that they had used the state’s power to coerce banks and insurance companies to cut business ties with the organization. The gun rights advocates claim that their actions amounted to government suppression of their First Amendment guarantee of free speech because the two of them are virulently opposed to the protections the Second Amendment provides all Americans.

Vullo’s attorneys filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed and while the District Court ruled that the NRA made a “plausible” argument (the standard that is used at this level of the proceedings) that their free-speech rights had been abridged, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated that ruling. SCOTUS in a unanimous 9-0 decision reinstated the lower judge’s ruling and ordered the case to proceed in accordance with their directives.

In the original complaint (as amended), the NRA accused Vullo and Cuomo of “an overt viewpoint-based discrimination campaign involving selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and threats” to prevent the group and its members from exercising their constitutional rights. The DFS has a suite of powerful tools at its disposal when it comes to regulating New York’s laws, and the court document alleges that they used those powers as a sledgehammer to force insurance underwriters like Lloyd’s of London to stop issuing policies on their behalf.

Justice Sonya Sotomayor wrote the SCOTUS decision declaring that the Second Circuit had violated precedent established in 1963 with the Court had reaffirmed several times in the intervening period, which is that a government official cannot coerce a third-party into a policy that they themselves are prohibited from enforcing. She also wrote that the appellate court “erred in” in breaking the accusations in the complaint into component parts instead of reading it as a whole.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote a short concurring opinion putting all lower courts on notice that they should pay attention to this decision or else they would face, if one wanted to put it in the vocabulary of the Beverly Hillbillies, being taken out to the woodshed. Considering that it was a unanimous panel, one hopes it will be heeded by judges regardless of whether a Republican or a Democrat appointed them.

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