Debanking is one of the most prominent moves against free speech to raise peoples’ attention over the last couple of years, and now the ACLU has taken an interest – especially now that local governments are directly calling for some entities to be financially deplatformed.
While the ACLU has been rocky in its support of free speech in recent years, it is making an effort to support a pro-Second Amendment Group with its First Amendment rights.
The partnership of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a rare sight to behold, given their divergent ideologies, especially regarding gun control rights. Yet, common ground has been found in their mutual defense of fundamental First Amendment freedoms, exemplified by an unexpected query by the NRA’s legal counsel.
William A. Brewer III, in a move suggested to the New York Times, proposed that the ACLU should represent the NRA in its freedom of speech challenge before the Supreme Court.
While this unusual alliance might perplex some, the ACLU and the NRA, according to Brewer, are the “800-pound gorillas” of the First and Second Amendments respectively.
The strange bedfellows scenario arises from a contention between the NRA and a New York official who attempted to ostracize the association, an act perceived as infringing on the NRA’s First Amendment rights.
If you’re a regular reader of Reclaim The Net, this is something you’ll be familiar with.
David Cole, the ACLU’s national legal director, expressed that despite ideological differences, adhering to its core tenet of defending the freedom of speech, irrespective of the entity in question, was paramount.
Maria Vullo, the official at the heart of this case, is alleged to have used her agency’s influence to sever the NRA’s ties with banks and insurance firms after the horrific 2018 school shooting in Florida.
This pivotal lawsuit hinges on whether this course of action infringed the First Amendment. The US Court of Appeals previously sided against the NRA, deeming her actions to be within the perimeters of the constitution.
However, First Amendment scholars Eugene Volokh and Brewer contend that this ruling could set a dangerous precedent, enabling officials to financially stifle their adversaries, exploiting their political ideology as a scapegoat.
The case is an alarming echo of another controversy; the Biden administration has been found to be manipulating social media companies into suppressing information it perceives as “misinformation,” sparking a debate on the constitutionality of such governmental influence.
Despite witnessing a confluence of ideologies in the First Amendment crusade, the ACLU clarified that its backing isn’t extended to the NRA’s core mission. It primarily opposes any attempts by officials to manipulate their power to financially isolate an entity merely based on differing political beliefs.
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