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ACLU Announces It Will Represent The NRA In Supreme Court Case

  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)  announced on Saturday that it will represent the National Rifle Association (NRA) at the Suprem...

 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)  announced on Saturday that it will represent the National Rifle Association (NRA) at the Supreme Court in an upcoming First Amendment case.

In NRA v. Vullo, the group sued former superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) Maria Vullo for allegedly violating the First Amendment by pressuring insurers to stop servicing them. The ACLU announced on Twitter that it would represent the NRA, despite disagreeing with them on other issues. 

“We don’t support the NRA’s mission or its viewpoints on gun rights, and we don’t agree with their goals, strategies, or tactics,” the ACLU wrote. “But we both know that government officials can’t punish organizations because they disapprove of their views.”

The case began in 2018 when the NRA sued Vullo for allegedly warning insurance companies against doing business with the group.

“Vullo…warned regulated institutions that doing business…posed ‘reputational risk’ of concern to DFS; secretly offered leniency to insurers for unrelated infractions if they dropped the NRA; and extracted highly-publicized and over-reaching consent orders, and multi-million dollar penalties, from firms that formerly served the NRA,” the NRA’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the case reads.

After filing suit, the NRA’s lawsuit was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City in 2022, which ruled Vullo’s actions were reasonable and did not stifle their First Amendment rights. The NRA’s petition for certiorari was granted on Nov. 3.

The case has attracted significant attention. Several Republican-led states and conservative organizations — including the states of Montana and Texas, Gun Owners of America, Inc. and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression — have filed amicus briefs in the case, according to SCOTUSBlog.

“If the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene, it will create a dangerous playbook for state regulatory agencies across the country to blacklist or punish any viewpoint-based organizations — from abortion rights groups to environmental groups or even ACLU affiliates,” the ACLU wrote.

“The ACLU joining as counsel underscores the importance of this First Amendment case and the NRA’s position that government officials cannot use intimidation tactics to silence those with whom those officials disagree,” William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel for the NRA, in a statement from the organization told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The ACLU is a leading voice on legal and constitutional issues and is a welcome addition to this advocacy.”

“We have no comment,” Neal Katyal, the former acting U.S. solicitor general and attorney for the respondent, told the DCNF regarding the ACLU’s announcement.

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