NRA has a surprise defender in free speech case before Supreme Court: ACLU


NEW YORK (AP) — In a case of making strange bedfellows in politics, the National Rifle Association will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

New York-based civil liberties group confirmed on saturday It will provide legal representation for the gun-rights group in its First Amendment case against the New York Department of Financial Services, even though it “vigorously” opposes almost everything else it does.

“We do not support the mission of the NRA or its stance on gun rights, and we do not agree with their goals, strategies, or tactics,” the ACLU said in a statement previously posted on Twitter. “But we both know that government officials cannot punish organizations because they do not agree with their views.”

The NRA, which reshared the ACLU statement on its social media accounts, wrote follow up post It is “proud” to stand with the ACLU and others who believe that “regulatory authority cannot be used to silence political speech.”

The nation’s highest court is set to hear arguments early next year in a case centered on comments by Maria Vullo, former superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services. 2018 shooting At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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After the killing of 17 people in Parkland, FloridaSchool, Vullo called on banks and insurance companies operating in New York to end their cooperation with gun-promotion groups.

In letters to companies and news releases, he urged operators to consider the “reputational risks” from doing business with the NRA and other gun groups.

The NRA sued Vullo after several institutions decided to sever ties or no longer do business with Fairfax. Virginia-based organization. Federal appeals court in New York NRA’s claims rejectedSaying that Vullo acted in good faith and within the bounds of his job.

Spokespeople for the New York Department of Financial Services did not respond to an email seeking comment Saturday.

But the ACLU, in Additional Comments Posted on Or create a “dangerous playbook” to punish. yourself.

The ACLU wrote, “At the core of this case are questions about the First Amendment and its principled protection of civil liberties for all, including those with whom we disagree on the Second Amendment.” “We will not allow the rights of organizations to engage in political advocacy to be trampled upon.”

The announcement, which comes largely as the NRA and the gun-rights movement proved to be flexible It was criticized by at least one prominent ACLU affiliate, amid a continuing surge of mass shootings and gun violence in the country.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with the decision and will not participate in the case even though it originated in New York.

“The significant First Amendment issue in the case is well established, the NRA is one of the most powerful organizations in the country and has sophisticated lawyers, and representing the NRA directly causes enormous harm to the clients and communities with whom the ACLU and NYCLU work. We do. and serve,” Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in an emailed statement.

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