The State of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo are engaged in a campaign to encourage banks and insurance companies to divest themselves of any dealings with the National Rifle Association (NRA). Bereft of insurance or financial tools, it would become difficult if not impossible for the organization to operate.
The NRA has taken the State of New York to Court and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has written a brief in their defense on first amendment grounds.
“Although public officials are free to express their opinions and may condemn viewpoints or groups they view as inimical to public welfare, they cannot abuse their regulatory authority to retaliate against disfavored advocacy organizations and to impose burdens on those organizations’ ability to conduct lawful business,”
As with all things liberals do there are consequences and in this case, wonders the ACLU’s legal director, what happens if Cuomo wins this when and where Democrats are not in power?
“If Cuomo can do this to the NRA, then conservative governors could have their financial regulators threaten banks and financial institutions that do business with any other group whose political views the governor opposes,” David Cole, the ACLU legal director, wrote in a blog post. “The First Amendment bars state officials from using their regulatory power to penalize groups merely because they promote disapproved ideas.”
Following Barack Obama’s example, Gov. Cuomo is weaponizing state-level executive agencies. Sending his regulators out into the realm to eat out our substance, to borrow a turn of phrase from the founding. Why then, posits the ACLU, won’t a Republican return that favor in kind?
I’d like to think they are above that but human nature being what it is we can’t discount the possibility.
And the ACLU, which despite holding a special place in its heart for liberal priorities, has the sense to see how Cuomo’s regulatory war could spill “over the border” and impact companies or liberal organizations that, I don’t know, donate to the ACLU?
It could be self-interest or it might just be that while the ACLU is many things they are still solid on the first amendment.
They are right about the abuse of power though I’m curious where they were when Barry-O was doing it. Every time he did it. Maybe they were there and I missed it?
The State of New York wants the NRA’s case dismissed. The hearing is on September 10th.