Attorney General Russell Coleman

Kentucky Attorney General Coleman Supports NRA Against Government’s Attempt to Stifle Free Speech and Fights for the First Amendment at U.S. Supreme Court

FRANKFORT, KY (Jan. 18, 2024) – Attorney General Russell Coleman joined 22 other state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the National Rifle Association (NRA) and ultimately the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The NRA’s lawsuit concerns troubling allegations of governmental abuse of power by a New York official who the NRA claims attempted to financially bully the country’s leading Second Amendment advocacy organization.

The NRA claims that Maria Vullo, who formerly led a financial regulatory agency in New York, leveraged her position to stifle the constitutionally-protected political speech of the NRA and its members. Vullo is alleged to have pressured insurers and banks to cut ties with the NRA with backroom threats of adverse consequences. The NRA has an unlikely ally in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which agrees Vullo’s alleged politically motivated campaign crossed the line.

“When government officials weaponize their power against an organization they don’t support, they trample on the rights of all Americans,” said Attorney General Coleman. “If the politically powerful are given a free pass to come after one of the largest and most well-known organizations in the country, there is nothing stopping them from coming after everyday Kentuckians. Our nation’s highest court must respect free speech and reject this not-so-subtle attempt to stifle the marketplace of ideas.”

General Coleman and the coalition are asking the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision. In their brief, the attorneys general argue that the lower court’s decision erodes First Amendment protections for free speech against government coercion and opens the door for governments to engage in censorship.

The coalition writes in the brief that the decision “gives government officials license to financially cripple their political opponents, or otherwise stifle their protected speech—whether those rivals advocate for environmental protections, school choice, abortion rights, religious liberty, or anything else.”

Attorney General Coleman was joined by attorneys general from Montana, which led the brief, as well as Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

To view a copy of the amicus brief, click here.



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