The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a free speech case.
The NRA is suing former New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights when she urged insurance companies and banks to consider the “reputational risks” of working with the gun rights lobby following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The NRA’s lawsuit says Vullo “threatened institutions with costly investigations, increased regulatory scrutiny and penalties should they fail to discontinue their arrangements with the NRA.”
During meetings with insurance companies Vullo made “back-channel threats that they cease providing services to the NRA,” the lawyers added.
The Supreme Court agreed to take you the NRA’s appeal in November after the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that Vullo’s actions did not violate the First Amendment, and even if they did, she would be protected from liability by qualified immunity, according to NBC News.
“We’re representing the NRA at the Supreme Court in their case against New York’s Department of Financial Services for abusing its regulatory power to violate the NRA’s First Amendment rights,” the ACLU said in a post on Twitter. “The government can’t blacklist an advocacy group because of its viewpoint.”
A spokesperson for the ACLU told the New York Times that despite their representation of the NRA they “do not support the N.R.A. or its mission.”
“We signed on as co-counsel because public officials shouldn’t be allowed to abuse the powers of the office to blacklist an organization just because they oppose an organization’s political views,” the ACLU said.