Hoeven, Budd File Amicus Brief Supporting First & Second Amendment Rights in Supreme Court Case

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven joined a bicameral group, led by Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), in filing an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court in NRA v. Vullo. The brief urges the Court to stop the State of New York from abusing its regulatory power to impose financial blacklists on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and any other advocacy organization purely based on their personal beliefs.

Specifically, the brief challenges formal guidance brought by Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of the State of New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), urging every bank and insurance company in the state to “sever[] their ties” with the NRA. In addition, Vullo promised leniency to insurers that stopped doing business with the NRA, while imposing multi-million-dollar fines on long-time NRA insurers and barring them from engaging in future lawful business partnerships with the NRA.  

“Free speech and political advocacy are at the core of our Constitution, and these actions by New York disregard our fundamental rights. It is imperative that the Supreme Court hold the state accountable and reverse these unlawful acts, protecting both the First and Second Amendment,” said Senator Hoeven.

“Left-wing New York state officials have attempted to weaponize the state government to punish a political group purely because they believe in Second Amendment rights,” said Senator Budd. “This blatantly unconstitutional action fundamentally undermines the right of free speech and equal justice under law. Other states and jurisdictions are no doubt watching. If New York State can financially blacklist a large organization like the NRA, what’s to stop a smaller group in another state from facing the same threat and not having the ability to defend itself. The Constitution’s basic tenets are at stake in this case, and I’m proud to team up with my friend Rep. Hudson to defend the First Amendment right of freedom of expression.”

The brief was co-signed in the Senate by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James E. Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Rick Scott (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and John Thune (R-SD). The full brief can be found here.