Miss. Lawmakers, Others Argue for Supreme Court to Protect Rights, Rein in New York Regulatory Abuse Targeting Advocacy Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and U.S. Representative Michael Guest (R-Miss.) have signed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in NRA v. Vullo, a case that pits the First Amendment rights of gun groups against hostile government regulators.

Hyde-Smith and Guest are among 18 Senators and 63 House members who signed the brief, which encourages the Supreme Court to stop the State of New York from abusing its regulatory authority to impose financial blacklists on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and any other advocacy organization purely based on their personal beliefs.

“The Supreme Court decision in this First Amendment case is incredibly important not just for the NRA, but for any advocacy group that holds views that any overzealous government agency doesn’t like,” Hyde-Smith said.  “With this brief, we argue that New York acted wrongly to silence the NRA in defiance of federal law to protect the First Amendment rights of gun manufacturers, sellers, and their trade associations.”

“Our sacred First Amendment rights must be protected and preserved, and this case before the Supreme Court is an opportunity for us to uphold our freedoms.  New York wrongfully tried to silence the NRA through burdensome regulations on the financial sector.  I am proud to join this brief and protect our First—and Second—Amendment rights,” Guest said.

In 2018, Maria Vullo, Superintendent of the State of New York Department of Financial Services, issued formal guidance to every bank and insurance company in the state urging them to “sever ties” with the NRA.  Vullo also promised leniency to insurers that stopped doing business with the NRA.  Additionally, she announced consent orders with longtime NRA insurers that imposed multimillion-dollar fines on these insurers and barred them from engaging in future lawful business partnerships with the NRA.

The brief was led by U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.).

Read the amicus curiae brief here and the list of congressional signees here.