SCOTUS Unanimously Sides With NRA on Free Speech Ruling

SCOTUS Unanimously Sides With NRA on Free Speech Ruling

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
May 30, 2024

In a 9-0 ruling, the United States Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) unanimously sided with the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) complaint that a New York official had infringed upon their First Amendment right to free speech.

Former New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent Maria Vullo is accused of attempting to coerce businesses to not work with the NRA.

The former official’s alleged actions took place after the 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in which a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members.

Vullo, for her part, has denied all claims that stated she coerced banks to separate themselves from the NRA.

“Ms. Vullo did not violate anyone’s First Amendment rights. Ms. Vullo enforced the insurance law against admitted violations by insurance entities,” stated Neal Katyal, Vullo’s attorney.

Vullo, along with other critics, has expressed qualms regarding some insurance companies offering Carry Guard, often dubbed “murder insurance”, which attempts to cover losses caused by firearms, even if the insured person purposely killed someone.

Nevertheless, all of the SCOTUS justices deemed Vullo’s actions as unconstitutional. The NRA's lawsuit will be sent back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

“Government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties in order to punish or suppress views that the government disfavors,” wrote Judge Sonia Sotomayor. “Ultimately, the critical takeaway is that the First Amendment prohibits government officials from wielding their power selectively to punish or suppress speech.”

In 2023, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that mass shootings have not only gone up since the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve also become the leading cause of death for children.

Furthermore, new data showed an all-time high of gun-related deaths totaling 45,222 lives lost. The new data revealed “a sharp 13.5% increase in the crude rate of firearm-related death from 2019 to 2020.”

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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