NRA Victory at SCOTUS Today in NRA v. Vullo, a Coerced Speech Case

Published May 30, 2024
SCOTUS NRA Sotomayor

The Supreme Court handed the NRA a unanimous victory today in National Rifle Association v. Vullo.

The NRA had alleged that the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, in the guise of exercising free speech rights to criticize the NRA. effectively coerced banks and insurance companies regulated by the department to drop business dealings with the NRA.

Lower courts had dismissed the NRA’s case for failure to state a claim under the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court reversed and sent the case back for trial, the Supreme Court explaining, “[T]he First Amendment prohibits government officials from wielding their power selectively to punish or suppress speech, directly or (as alleged here) through private intermediaries.”

That holding may well reverberate in many other hot cases currently pending up and down the courts, particularly those involving efforts by government officials (I’m looking at you, Joe Biden) to induce social media providers, tech firms, and others to censor speech.

The decision in today’s case in favor of the NRA was unanimous;  the opinion for the Court was written by Justice Sotomayor.  Justices Gorsuch and Jackson, joining in the main opinion, also filed separate concurrences.

You will find a PDF of the slip opinion (including all three of the opinions issued today in the case) at this link.