SCOTUS Can Smack Down a Government’s Thuggish Assault on a Gun Rights Org’s Free Speech

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There is a striking distinction between NRA v. Vullo and the social-media jawboning case. The social-media platforms in question seemed content with — if not outright eager for — official [government] input regarding content moderation (although they often rejected specific government requests). This obscured the boundary between state coercion and platform-solicited advisement.

In NRA v. Vullo, the NRA’s financial partners seemed happy to continue the partnership absent regulatory scrutiny. One partner, Lockton Companies, LLC, “placed a distraught phone call to the NRA,” saying that “it would need to ‘drop’ the NRA for fear of ‘losing [its] license’ to do business in New York,” per a filing from the NRA’s counsel.

For anybody still in doubt, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo tipped the state’s hand on the platform then known as Twitter. “The regulations NY put in place are working. We’re forcing the NRA into financial jeopardy,” he posted when the NRA complained of losing its financial partners. “We won’t stop until we shut them down.”

Unfortunately for Cuomo and Vullo, the First Amendment shields citizens against precisely this sort of petty tyranny and arbitrary rule. The First Amendment does not bend due to Democrats’ antipathy for the Second. To curb the modern jawboning epidemic, and to enforce the Bill of Rights faithfully, the Supreme Court must correct the 2nd Circuit’s error and rule for the NRA.

— David B. McGarry in New York’s Attempted Hit on the NRA Violated the First Amendment

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  1. “That’s a nice financial organization you have there, shame if something bad happened to it.”

    When this court ruling comes out, I expect the Democrats to cry when right leaning states hit Planned Parenthood and related groups the same way.

    • If only. Too many RINOs with no balls.

      “Can’t we all just get along?” – NO

      “Speak softly and carry a big stick” – YES

      • RINO balls, the rarest item on the earth. the years greatest lie–I am an honest politician! No such thing exists in either the Republicrat, or Demican parties,now called the Uniparty. “screw the voter” is their current mottoes.

    • Wouldn’t bet on the Supreme Court. You have Roberts ( Obama care), Amy ( ghost gun ), Kavanaugh ( the spineless ) that can and have voted with the marxists on the court.

      • Members of the USSC know Gun Control is Rooted in Racist Historical Analogies. Nonetheless you can bet the farm there are members who do not see the 2A as a wise right and you should not have certain firearms, etc. For those members of the court they must find a way to step around the Racism, Slavery, etc. inherent with Gun Control so not to get any Historical poop on their shoes. So never mind the wishy washy black robes…Like its sidekick Slavery, Gun Control must be Abolished. The evidence is overwhelming.

        • With due respect Debbie, a discussion concerning early gun control and the Second Amendment is appropriate, but the evidence is far from overwhelming. The Second Amendment may well have been impacted IN PART by slave holders fearing a slave rebellion of the type that occurred on some Caribbean islands, BUT the primary purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that citizens of the United States had access to the sort of weapons (firearms, etc) that would be needed to prevent the imposition or reimposition of a tyrannical government on the newly born United States. The country had just experienced a Revolutionary War with King George and Great Britain and would soon experience a War of 1812. The necessity of citizens having access to military capable firearms for their personal defense and the defense of their country was widely recognized in both North and South including many states in which slavery was already illegal and the fears of slaveholders was meaningless!

  2. The State Department is tasked with foreign relations and has no authority over domestic affairs, yet it took a government office designed for countering foreign terrorist propaganda, the Global Engagement Center (GEC), and unleashed it against Americans engaged in what it claimed was “disinformation,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas on Tuesday night by the New Civil Liberties Alliance.

    It was “one of the most audacious, manipulative, secretive, and gravest abuses of power and infringements of First Amendment rights by the federal government in American history,” said the suit, which also names Secretary of State Antony Blinken and five other officials as defendants.

    Who’s for a weaponized and oppressive government again? No serious person still votes for Democrats.

    • Oh they’re seriously deranged Dude! Cuomo & it’s ilk got nuttin’ on the obese billionaire of ILLannoy🙄

      • As much as I do not like Coumo I would never call him an idiot. For all his petty tyrannies I have see over the last decade he knew around where to stop and hold the line for courts to catch up and allow him and his to hold territory. Hochul and more than a few other lefty activist type politicians are willing to push over the line and fight so much out in court that there is bound to be cleanup for decades to come for all sides. Really a difference between a disciplined opponent you don’t like but have to respect and a spoiled child that you can only despise.

    • I still waiting for these fascists to go after CNN, MSNBC, Roooters, and Scripps News with their marxist manipulation of the “news”. Soon?

  3. This NRA v. Vullo is so acute that it’s critical that SCOTUS rule on it. And that will have implications for government coercing or urging social media to curate public discourse.

    We should think about government actions of all types – including government speech – in three tiers:
    – in contravention of enumerated Constitutional rights;
    – in contravention of unenumerated yet widely accepted rights;
    – in contravention of liberty that is within enumerated and traditional powers of government to regulate.

    What would we make of government speech and more coercive actions disparaging:
    – speech, press, religion, assembly
    – keeping and bearing arms
    – quartering troops
    – voting by women and young adults?
    It seems to me that SCOTUS must declare a hard-line barring any such actions outside of debate in Congress over a proposed amendment to the Constitution. (Clearly, we must allow that Congress could debate a proposed amendment raising the voting age back to 21.) But no farther. The Executive Branch should be allowed no such power.

    What would we make of government speech and more coercive actions disparaging:
    – eating meat
    – drinking alcohol on the Sabbath
    – consuming salt, sugar, caffeine
    These are not enumerated Constitutional rights. Nevertheless, they are widely accepted liberties. It seems to me that government speech and coercive actions in such areas ought to be viewed with skepticism.

    Finally, what would we make of government speech and more coercive actions disparaging:
    – driving too fast for conditions
    – leaving one’s home while infected with a contagious disease
    – polluting navigable waters
    – polluting the air

    These are issues of public safety and public health. They are well within the powers of states to regulate. However, they are not necessarily within the powers of the Federal government. Driving and contagious diseases are state police powers. Navigable waters are Federal powers. It’s hard to say about the air. Formally, they seem to be state powers but the public would probably accept Federal jurisdiction.

    • “…– consuming salt, sugar, caffeine”

      Fats, etc.

      Government having their sticky fingers in foodstuffs is coming, as body mass directly impacts expenditure in healthcare, which they are ever increasingly involved in, thanks to the ACA ..’ 🙁

      That ought to scare the crap out of anyone… 🙁

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