UNITED STATES NEWS

The NRA has a surprising defender in its free speech case before the Supreme Court: the ACLU

Dec 9, 2023, 3:56 PM

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

The New York-based civil liberties group confirmed Saturday that it would provide legal representation for the gun-rights group in its First Amendment case against New York’s Department of Financial Services even as it “vigorously” opposes nearly everything it stands for.

“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 in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. “But we both know that government officials can’t punish organizations because they disapprove of their views.”

The NRA, which reshared the ACLU’s statement on its social media account, wrote in a follow-up post that it was “proud” to stand with the ACLU and others who recognize 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 former New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent Maria Vullo made in the wake of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

After 17 people were killed at the Parkland, Florida, school, Vullo called on banks and insurance companies operating in New York to discontinue their association with gun-promoting groups.

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

The NRA sued Vullo after multiple entities cut ties or decided not to do business with the Fairfax, Virginia-based organization. The federal appeals court in New York rejected the NRA’s claims, saying Vullo acted in good faith and within the bounds of her job.

Spokespersons for New York’s financial services department didn’t respond to an email seeking comment Saturday.

But the ACLU, in additional comments posted on X, argued that if the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene, it could create a “dangerous playbook” for regulatory agencies across the country to blacklist or punish “viewpoint-based organizations” including abortion rights groups, environmental groups and even the ACLU itself.

“The questions at the core of this case are about the First Amendment and the principled defense of civil liberties for all, including those with whom we disagree on the Second Amendment,” the ACLU wrote. “We won’t let the rights of organizations to engage in political advocacy be trampled.”

The announcement, which comes as the NRA and the gun-rights movement broadly has proven resilient amid the nation’s ceaseless mass shootings and gun violence, was criticized by at least one prominent ACLU affiliate.

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

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

United States News

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of rainfall after tropical storms swamped southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney charged in voting machine tampering case announces run for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan after the 2020 election said Thursday that he’s running for the state’s high court. Republican Matthew DePerno, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the announcement on the social platform X. “After […]

8 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

The NRA has a surprising defender in its free speech case before the Supreme Court: the ACLU