Supreme Court Rules Unanimously In Favor of the NRA

( – In a significant development, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of the National Rifle Association, allowing the organization to proceed with its lawsuit against a former New York regulator.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the ruling, which allows the NRA to resume its First Amendment challenge against Maria Vullo, who ran the Department of Financial Services in New York. Vullo started her investigation into the gun rights group in 2017. She concluded her probe by pressing banks and insurers that she regulated to cut links to the NRA. The move followed a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and members of staff and revived arguments in favor of stricter gun control.

The NRA has argued that the official’s steps exceeded permissible advocacy, violated the Constitution, and amounted to coercion on the part of the government. The Supreme Court’s decision lets the group continue with its case, though challenges in the lawsuit’s later legal stages mean the NRA is not guaranteed a victory. Justices also stressed that Vullo could still be entitled to immunity based on a lower court’s findings, regardless of whether her actions were unconstitutional.

Despite the solid Republican leanings of the NRA, the Biden administration argued that some of its claims should proceed, marking an unusual agreement between what have usually been two opposing parties. Sotomayor stressed how improper it is for government officials to try to “coerce” private parties to either suppress or punish views that the government does not approve of. In April, the Biden administration announced the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which would extend background checks relating to the selling of firearms.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been representing the NRA in its lawsuit. William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA, described the Supreme Court ruling as a “landmark victory” for the organization and anyone who values American First Amendment rights. He argued that the verdict confirmed what the NRA had known “all along”: that government officials in New York had abused their powers to suppress political opponents. Vullo’s lawyer defended their client’s investigation, claiming that it was valid law enforcement and legitimate government speech.

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