The Buckeye Institute’s Robert Alt Joins FedSoc’s Courthouse Steps Preview to Discuss Upcoming SCOTUS Oral Arguments

Robert Alt Mar 12, 2024

On March 18, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases related to “jawboning”—Murthy v. Missouri and NRA v. Vullo.

Murthy v. Missouri, originally filed as Missouri v. Biden, concerns whether federal government officials had violated the First Amendment by ‘coercing” or “significantly encouraging” social media companies to remove or demote particular content from their platforms. This content spanned various topics, including the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, the efficacy of masks and vaccines, and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, among others.

National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo raises the question of whether the First Amendment allows a government regulator to threaten regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, as a consequence of (a) the government’s own hostility to the speaker’s viewpoint or (b) a perceived “general backlash” against the speaker’s advocacy. This lawsuit, initiated by the NRA in response to what it perceives as targeted actions by Vullo to undermine its financial support structure, argues that these measures amount to unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, effectively punishing the NRA for its protected speech.

The conversation features: 

  • Robert Alt, President and CEO, The Buckeye Institute;
  • Will Duffield, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; and was moderated by
  • Casey Mattox, Vice President for Legal and Judicial Strategy, Americans for Prosperity