Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of NRA in Free Speech Fight Against New York Regulator

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Thursday in its free speech fight against regulatory overreach in New York.

The Court’s decision found that Maria Vullo, who formerly ran the New York Department of Financial Services, violated the First Amendment when she urged the banks and insurance companies she regulated to no longer do business with the gun rights group.

The NRA argued that the regulator’s actions went beyond permissible advocacy and crossed into unconstitutional government coercion.

The Court held that Vullo had plausibly violated the NRA’s First Amendment rights by attempting to coerce the regulated entities into terminating business relationships with the group to punish or suppress gun-promotion advocacy.

“Vullo was free to criticize the NRA and pursue the conceded violations of New York insurance law,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who authored the opinion.

“She could not wield her power, however, to threaten enforcement actions against DFS-regulated entities in order to punish or suppress the NRA’s gun-promotion advocacy,” the opinion continued. “Because the complaint plausibly alleges that Vullo did just that, the Court holds that the NRA stated a First Amendment violation.”

“In sum, the complaint, assessed as a whole, plausibly alleges that Vullo threatened to wield her power against those refusing to aid her campaign to punish the NRA’s gun-promotion advocacy,” Sotomayor wrote. “If true, that violates the First Amendment.”

The decision allows the case to move forward in a lower court.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: Justices of the US Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on October 7, 2022. (Seated from left) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (Standing behind from left) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

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