Attorneys for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a state agency will make their case to block a motion for expedited discovery from the National Rifle Association—which is suing over the administration’s pressure on financial institutions to sever ties with the gun-rights advocacy group—in Albany July 11.
The burden is on the Office of Attorney General Barbara Underwood, which represents the state, to show reasons in federal court why the NRA should not be allowed to speed up the discovery process in advance of seeking a preliminary injunction.
The NRA is planning to file for an injunction against Cuomo and state Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo to stop them from asking companies to sever ties with the gun lobby group.
In a lawsuit filed last month, the NRA accused Cuomo and Vullo of coercing financial institutions to end business relationships with the association. Those actions from the state violated their First Amendment rights by stifling their ability to advocate for gun owners, the association said.
A preliminary injunction would bar state officials from any additional actions that would result in more lost partnerships with the NRA. They plan to argue that the state has done irreparable harm by asking companies to drop their business with the association.
Cuomo has publicly called on financial institutions to end any partnerships they have with the NRA this year after 17 people were killed at a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The NRA lobbied against additional federal gun restrictions after the shooting.
Vullo translated that call in a letter to financial institutions in April asking them to consider their reputation while doing business with the gun lobby group.
That culminated in a handful of businesses entering into agreements with the state agency to cease their ties with the NRA, the motion claims.
William A. Brewer III, the lead attorney for the NRA in the case from Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors in Dallas has said discovery should be expedited in its bid to get a preliminary injunction.
The NRA said in its motion for expedited discovery last week that it plans to subpoena companies that ended their relationship with the NRA after the April letter from Vullo. It also aims to seek a deposition from Vullo, as well as any documents that show the state urged those companies to cut ties with the NRA.