May 7, 2020
Partner Steve Augustino
was quoted in the Communications Daily
article “SCOTUS Appears Unlikely to Strike Down TCPA in Response to Robocall Case.” The article discusses the concerns over the Supreme Court striking down the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in response to the recent case the court heard regarding robocalling.
Chief Justice John Roberts said the TCPA is a popular law the Supreme Court doesn't want to undermine, as it heard argument in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants
on Wednesday, with broad implications for the statute. Other justices said similar, and experts don't expect the entire regime to be overturned. Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants
involves an AAPC challenge of a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which declared a 2015 government debt collection exemption unconstitutional and severed the provision from the remainder of the TCPA.
Justices were struggling with the appropriate remedy if they find the 2015 exemption to be unconstitutional. "They called the issue 'troubling,' 'unprecedented,' and 'asymmetrical' and as a group seemed to be undecided on how to resolve the question,” said Augustino, “This could go either way. When the ruling comes out, the first place I'll be looking is at the portion of the opinion dealing with the remedy." Justices didn't take up suggestions of some amicus parties to address the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system, he said.
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