- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2018


The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in federal court in defense of the National Rifle Association’s legal right to do business in New York — and in opposition to Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pressure on insurance and financial organizations to cut ties with those who do business with the firearms group.

The ACLU defending the NRA? Yes, you read that right.

Even a clock’s right twice a day.

As the Daily Caller noted: “The NRA filed a lawsuit against Cuomo and the state’s financial regulatory bureau in July, contending that the agency instituted a ‘blacklisting campaign’ by threatening insurers and financial institutions that associate with the organization. The bureau warned that by continuing to work with the NRA, banks and insurance companies could face regulatory action.”

This is blackmail, pure and simple. And it’s akin to what Eric Holder, while attorney general, tried to do against banks and financial institutions that did business with pawn shops and firearms retailers — to make suspect legal transactions.

But the fact that the ACLU would not only acknowledge but take active measures to fight this government blackmail is somewhat astonishing.

Here’s a bit of the organization’s amicus brief: “Those allegations [from the NRA] represent a blatant violation of the First Amendment. 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.”

Amen to that.

The NRA, through its attorney, William Brewer III, at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, said this: “The ACLU’s amicus brief is testament to what we have contended all along — Governor Cuomo and the [Department of Financial Services] violated the First Amendment rights of the NRA. The ACLU is a leading voice on legal and constitutional issues, and we welcome their advocacy in this important case.”

The ACLU didn’t go so far as to defend the NRA’s Second Amendment views.

But the fact the group joined this fight at all — on the side of the NRA, against the side of the Democrats — instead of turning a blind eye, speaks volumes.

It says, loud and clear: Cuomo has gone off the deep end on this one.

When the ACLU sides with the NRA, it’s high time for the gun control types to reconsider.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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