U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Sides with NRA Unanimously on 1st Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the National Rifle Association, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, in a unanimous opinion that could make it more difficult for state regulators to pressure companies to cut ties with private organizations, such as political advocacy groups.

With the opinion from the Supreme Court, the NRA can still pursue a lawsuit against New York officials who had allegedly pressured banks and insurance companies to cut ties with the organization. The pressure allegedly came after a 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

The allegation from the NRA is that the former superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, Maria Vullo, in conjunction with statements made by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, pressured institutions to cut ties with the NRA and other pro-2nd Amendment advocacy groups.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the opinion for the Court and said, in part,

“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. Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U. S. 58, 67 (1963).

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. As superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, Vullo allegedly pressured regulated entities to help her stifle the NRA’s pro-gun advocacy by threatening enforcement actions against those entities that refused to disassociate from the NRA and other gun-promotion advocacy groups.

Those allegations, if true, state a First Amendment claim.”


The case came before the U.S. Supreme Court after the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that Vullo’s actions were permissible government speech and government enforcement of law. The 2nd Circuit had also said the NRA failed to “plausibly allege that FVullo crossed the line between attempts to convince and attempts to coerce.”

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a concurring opinion and specifically wrote about the Second Court’s decision, saying,

“Indeed, the Second Circuit’s decision to break up its analysis
into discrete parts and ‘tak[e] the [complaint’s] allegations in isolation’ appears only to have contributed to its mistaken conclusion that the National Rifle Association failed
to state a claim. Ante, at 15.

Lower courts would therefore do well to heed this Court’s directive: Whatever value these ‘guideposts’ serve, they remain ‘just’ that and nothing more. Ante, at 12. ‘Ultimately, the critical’ question is whether the plaintiff has ‘plausibly allege[d] conduct that, viewed in context, could be reasonably understood to convey a threat of adverse government action in order to punish or suppress the plaintiff ’s speech.’”


The NRA posted a short message on their X (formerly Twitter) account stating that they had prevailed at the Supreme Court.

In a statement released on its X account, the ACLU celebrated the victory by saying,

“BREAKING: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in our case NRA v. Vullo that state governments cannot punish organizations for disfavored political speech.

We represented the NRA before the Supreme Court, arguing that any government attempt to blacklist an advocacy group because of its viewpoint violates the First Amendment — and the highest court in our nation agreed.”


What do you think of the Court’s decision? Let us know in the comments below.

One reply on “Supreme Court Sides with NRA Unanimously on 1st Amendment Case”

I always bristle at the mention of anything connected to the ACLU. On the surface, to me, this decision was obviously a reaffirmation of an earlier decision basically identical to it. However, to see such a positive and somewhat jubilant response that smacks of taking credit for the entire outcome from the ACLU reps is frightening, as they’ve had hidden agendas for a great many years. I do not trust them…period.

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