Just In: Supreme Court Drops BOMBSHELL Ruling

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In a case concerning the First Amendment, the National Rifle Association received a unanimous ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. The 9-0 decision, authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is known for her liberal views, has the potential to create obstacles for state regulators seeking to exert pressure on advocacy groups. According to CNN, this ruling permits the NRA to proceed with its legal action against a New York official who urged financial institutions to cut off their ties with the organization after the tragic 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, claiming the lives of 17 individuals.

“Government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties in order to punish or suppress views that the government disfavors,” Sotomayor wrote. “Ultimately, the critical takeaway is that the First Amendment prohibits government officials from wielding their power selectively to punish or suppress speech.”

CNN reported that Maria Vullo, the former superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, allegedly exerted pressure on insurance companies to cut their connections with the gun lobby, as stated by the NRA. Additionally, she purportedly issued threats of enforcement actions against companies that failed to comply with her demands.

The outlet continued:

“At the center of the dispute was a meeting Vullo had with insurance market Lloyd’s of London in 2018 in which the NRA claims she offered to not prosecute other violations as long as the company helped with the campaign against gun groups. Vullo tried to wave off the significance of the meeting, arguing in part that the NRA’s allegations of what took place were not specific. Vullo, who served in Democratic former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, said her enforcement targeted an insurance product that is illegal in New York: third-party policies sold through the NRA that cover personal injury and criminal defense costs following the use of a firearm. Critics dubbed the policies “murder insurance.”’

The government regulators, regardless of their political affiliations, will receive guidance from the decision regarding the extent to which they can exert pressure on private companies that engage with controversial advocacy groups. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Ketanji Brown Jackson, representing conservative and liberal perspectives respectively, expressed their agreement with the majority through separate opinions.

It is worth noting that the court’s opinion did not address a related case involving the Biden administration’s influence on social media platforms like X and Facebook to remove content deemed as misinformation. CNN highlighted that both cases were argued on the same day in March. Despite the National Rifle Association (NRA) typically appearing before the Supreme Court for Second Amendment matters, it found unexpected support for its First Amendment claim. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), usually on the opposing side of the gun debate, agreed to represent the NRA in front of the Supreme Court.

While a US district court allowed the NRA’s First Amendment arguments against Maria Vullo to proceed, it denied some of the NRA’s other claims. However, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned this decision, ruling that Vullo’s actions were not coercive and granting her qualified immunity under certain conditions. CNN provided this information.

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