Federal judge dismisses National Rifle Association bankruptcy proceedings
The judge found that the NRA had filed for bankruptcy in Texas in order to obtain an unfair litigation advantage.
A federal judge in Dallas has dismissed the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy filing, ruling that the firearms advocacy group had filed it to obtain an “unfair advantage” in a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
NBC News reports how James sued the NRA last year to disband the group.
In her lawsuit against the National Rifle Association, James accused top executives of the “Years of Illicit Trafficking” group who funded a “lavish lifestyle.”
In response, the NRA called the filing an “awkward and political attack” – despite evidence that its leaders spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in donation on lavish short breaks, luxury clothing, and chartered jets.
The National Rifle Association then filed for bankruptcy and asked a court in Dallas to move their headquarters from New York to Texas.
However, U.S. bankruptcy judge Harlin Hale noted that the NRA’s bankruptcy filing – the so-called political threat it faced from New York – was no reason to proceed.
A hammer. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).
“The question the Court is facing is whether the existential threat to the NRA is the type of threat that the bankruptcy code is designed to protect against. The court believes this is not the case, ”Hale wrote in a 38-page ruling.
As LegalReader.com previously reported, the NRA’s bankruptcy filing came as an unexpected surprise to most of its members – as well as many of its leading companies.
Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s CEO, allegedly did not make up most of the NRA executives he was planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“What concerns the Court most, however, is the secretive manner in which Mr LaPierre obtained and exercised the authority to file for bankruptcy on behalf of the NRA. It is nothing short of shocking to have so many people excluded from filing for bankruptcy, including the vast majority of the board of directors, chief financial officer and general counsel, ”wrote Judge Hale.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that Hale’s decision confirms that the NRA cannot decide when – or where – she will be tried.
“Today’s order reaffirms that the NRA cannot dictate whether or where to respond for its actions,” said James. “The rot is deep, so now we are going to focus again on the New York court case and continue with it. Nobody is above the law, not even one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country. “
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