Supreme Court rules for NRA in coercion battle.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Rifle Association (NRA) can proceed with a claim that New York state official Maria Vullo’s efforts to persuade companies to sever ties with the gun rights group amounted to unlawful coercion, infringing on the NRA’s First Amendment rights. The ruling was made on a case where the NRA argued that Vullo’s actions, including an investigation into insurance companies the NRA worked with, were intended to punish and suppress views that the government disfavors.

The decision comes as one of two cases before the Supreme Court concerning alleged government coercion of private entities, with the other case involving claims that the Biden administration unlawfully pressured social media companies to remove certain content. The NRA’s case is a follow-up to a 2018 lawsuit where the gun rights group accused Vullo of targeting them due to their views after the 2018 Parkland school shooting.

In her ruling, Justice Sonia Sotomayor emphasized that government officials cannot attempt to coerce private parties to punish or suppress disfavored views. However, the decision does not grant advocacy groups immunity from government investigations or prevent officials from forcefully criticizing views they disagree with.

The NRA received legal assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which usually supports left-leaning causes, reflecting the importance of the First Amendment principles at stake in this case.