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Supreme Court votes 9-0 in favor of NRA’s 1st amendment rights

In a major decision today, the Supreme Court voted unanimously that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has the right to sue New York state officials for their campaign of intimidation by threatening private financial organizations if they did business with it.

“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,” Justice Sonja Sotomayor wrote in the unanimous opinion. “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.” [emphasis mine]

The ruling allows the NRA lawsuit against Vullo to move forward.

I highlighted Sotomayor’s name because her position here, representing the entire court in favor of the NRA, proves that even the leftist justices at the court are increasingly tired of the abusive and illegal lawfare being waged by the Democratic Party against Republicans and conservatives. The court, from both the right and the left, is telling the Democrats they are exposing themselves to personal liability if they do not stop this misbehavior. The Supreme Court is not going to go along with it, and that includes the leftists on the bench.

This decision also provides us a strong indication of what the Supreme Court will do if and when the various lawfare cases against Donald Trump reach it. In those cases the abuse of the law has been even more clear. Partisan prosecutors like Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, and Jack Smith, all of whom are misusing the law simply to get a political opponent, are likely not going to be treated nicely by the court.

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  • “Partisan prosecutors like Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, and Jack Smith, all of whom are misusing the law simply to get a political opponent, are likely not going to be treated nicely by the court.”

    Good soldiers all.

    Doing what must be done for the cause, for the movement.

    By any means necessary.

  • And now we have a job well done.

    All potentials exist.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I am not sure this is any indicator of the Trump specific cases.
    Some of the “conservative” Justices are not as strong as we hope. (Roberts?)

    Even so, I know they are attacking the two most conservative Justices (Alito and Thomas) to find anyway to remove them from the process. That way they have a better chance with the softer members when the Trump cases arrive.

    If anything, short term, this tells us more about the coming decision for Murthy v Missouri. This was argued the same day as the case above, and involved similar circumstances, namely, a federal agency pressuring a private company to suppress the 1st Amendment.

    In my mind, it should be the slam dunk like the NRA case. However, three things come to mind.
    1. KJB stated during arguments in Murthy v Missouri : “Your view has the first amendment hamstringing the government in significant ways in the most important time periods…” implying the 1st amendment should not get in the government’s way of controlling the message if circumstances are dire.
    2. In the NRA ruling KJB (again) stated : the facts of a case matter in deciding if the 1st Amendment It is only once a court determines that coercion occurs, she contended, that it must then “assess how that coercion actually violates a speaker’s First Amendment rights.” Doing so, she continued, may require the court to apply different doctrines depending on the facts of the case..”
    (quoted from Amy Howe’s SCOTUSBlog editorial).
    3. From the same article, Gorsuch wrote: The key question, he stressed, is whether a plaintiff “has ‘plausibly alleged conduct that, viewed in context, could reasonably be understood to convey a threat of adverse government action in order to punish or suppress the plaintiff’s speech.” – So if the Court then decides in Murthy v Missouri that the government pressure on social media companies had no threat of adverse action, then by all means, the federal agency has that ability to pressure them to silence their users.

    I just hope this kind of lunacy does not sway the weaker members of the Court. Or worse, that they even suggest that the dire circumstance of the “pandemic” would be a justifiable reason to impair the peoples’ civil rights.

    I fear that decision will actually be razor thin.

  • Jeff Wright

    That judge who says he doesn’t recognize the 2nd Amendment needs removing

  • Max

    “This decision also provides us a strong indication of what the Supreme Court will do if and when the various lawfare cases against Donald Trump reach it.”

    Biden Campaign Blasts Trump After Historic Felony Conviction: ‘No One Is Above The Law’

    Except the Democrats.
    Those who make the law, are not ruled by the law because they’ll just change it again to fit themselves and the circumstances.
    The court has already ruled that is not legal for him to forgive school debt. He just gave them the middle finger.

    Had Trump been found innocent, I have no doubt they would’ve tried him again just to destroy the constitutions double Jeopardy rule… After all that’s the point of all this is to destroy our system of laws.

  • Well, I reckon the NRA really will bring a gun to a knife fight.

  • Blackwing1

    You noted in your closing sentence that these Constitution-ignoring prosecutors “…are likely not going to be treated nicely by the court.”

    When? Where? And by whom? Are the SCOTUS justices going to order them locked up and prosecuted?

    Since we now have a “legal system” rather than a justice system with the collectivists in charge of it, there’s a ripe dead certainty that they will never be appropriately punished, or punished at all, for their criminal actions.

  • Goggs Horne

    The prosecutor who joined Bragg from Washington needs to be investigated. He would not do what he did without a payoff or promise of a payoff.

  • Concerned

    “…… because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    —John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

  • Milt

    Max and Blackwing1 are correct. The law is not self enforcing, and even if there should be a second Trump Justice Department, it is hard to know just how such lawfare abuses can be properly prosecuted, especially if they happened in deep blue districts where no DA would ever bring any charges against the offenders and no jury would convict them. (What kind of *legislative* approach might go after the roots of lawfare, even as currently practiced with impunity in blue states and districts? Can the deliberate use of lawfare be made a punishable federal crime?)

    None the less, whether something like justice prevails in such cases or not, the task before us is to *end* lawfare, not to turn it on the Democrats in a never ending round of tit for tat reprisals*. Somehow, the Rule of Law in this country must be restored, and all of the Democrats’ abuses — including, as Max points out, flagrantly ignoring the courts — must be addressed if only by way of identifying bad examples. If the Trump “show trials” do not constitute a teachable moment for most open-minded Americans**, then such a thing does not exist and any expectation of progress is a chimera. At the very least, we need to come away from this debacle with a resolute mindset of “never again” with respect to such legal abuses and a thorough understanding of why they are so deadly to our form of self government.

    Again, for the sake of our Republic, lawfare must be ended. Period.

    *Consider how well this is working out in the Middle East and in Gaza.

    **As is now being widely observed, Mr. Trump’s legal troubles are resonating with those Americans who have historically been on the receiving end of earlier forms of socially condoned lawfare, from broken treaties and forced assimilation to the grinding, spirit killing depredations of Jim Crow segregation. At this point in our history, can we finally say that the Constitution really *means* what it says, that Dr. King’s dream is at last real, and its protections (and strictures) apply equally to *all* of us?

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