NRA Wins Big In New York Fight



The Supreme Court ruled in the last week of May that the National Rifle Association can pursue a claim that a New York state official’s efforts to encourage companies to end ties with the gun rights group constituted unlawful coercion.

The Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed that the NRA could argue that Maria Vullo, then the New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent, violated its free speech rights.

Judge Statement

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote,

Government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties in order to punish or suppress views that the government disfavors [1].

Continued Case

When the case returns to lower courts, Vullo can argue that she is protected by the qualified immunity legal defense. This immunity allows public officials to evade liability if they were not on notice at the time of the alleged conduct that their actions were unconstitutional.

The NRA appealed a 2022 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier. This ruling said Vullo’s actions did not constitute unlawful conduct. In essence, the ruling said that the free speech claim should be dismissed and the NRA was wrong.


  1. ^ {Supreme Court rules for NRA in New York government coercion battle} (go back  ↩)

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