SCOTUS Upholds Ban on Cell Phone Robocalls | Beaufort County Now | The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits almost all robocalls to cell phones | beaufort observer, supreme court, uphold ban, cell phone, robocalls, july 8, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

SCOTUS Upholds Ban on Cell Phone Robocalls

    Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc.

    Docket: 19-631

    Opinion Date: July 6, 2020

    Judge: Brett M. Kavanaugh

    Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Communications Law, Constitutional Law

    The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits almost all robocalls to cell phones, 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii). A 2015 amendment created an exception that allows robocalls made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, 129 Stat. 588. The Fourth Circuit concluded that the government-debt exception was a content-based speech restriction that could not withstand strict scrutiny and was severable from the robocall restriction. The Supreme Court affirmed. Under the Free Speech Clause, the government generally has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. Content-based laws are subject to strict scrutiny. The government-debt exception is content-based because it favors speech made for the purpose of collecting government debt over political and other speech. The exception does not draw distinctions based on speakers, and even if it did, that would not automatically render the distinction content-neutral. The exception focuses on whether the caller is speaking about a particular topic and not simply on whether the caller is engaged in a particular economic activity. While the First Amendment does not prevent restrictions directed at commerce or conduct from imposing incidental burdens on speech, this law does not simply have an effect on speech, but is directed at certain content and is aimed at particular speakers. The government has not sufficiently justified the differentiation between government-debt collection speech and other important categories of robocall speech, such as political speech, issue advocacy, and the like.


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

So much is made of the Cancel Culture, which is as real as Trump Derangement Syndrome; however, the Impeachment Culture, as an offshoot of this Cancel Culture, has NOW won the day for the religiously Woke.
Looking into January, state legislative sessions will begin across the nation. For many states, a critical focus point will be on the emergency powers those statesí governments have exercised in the wake of COVID-19.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will deliver an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday.
He thinks it's clearly unconstitutional to try a man already out of office.
Victor Davis Hanson writes for National Review Online about the work of President Trumpís commission on American history.
Before he left office, former President Donald Trump ordered the Secret Service to continue protecting his children for the next six months.
The bass-playing younger brother of cultural icon Dolly Parton died of cancer, according to a statement from the Parton family.


Dan McLaughlin of National Review Online notes a recent abrupt change in Republican Party fundraising.
Although Twitter had not taken large-scale action against popular Antifa Twitter accounts during President Trumpís tenure, allowing Antifa more latitude to organize their efforts at creating chaos, this week, after President Biden was inaugurated, Twitter suspended some of those Antifa-related accou
Through one of Donald Trumpís final acts as president, former N.C. Republican Party chairman Robin Hayes became one of the most prominent North Carolinians to receive a presidential pardon.
Democrats have started to face backlash online after photographs emerged Thursday of National Guardsmen being forced to sleep in parking garages while also having minimal access to restrooms and other essential items.
The great gift this Christmas was that help was on the way. The vaccine was a welcome gift 10 months into the pandemic. It is no exaggeration that North Carolinaís vaccination rollout started poorly.
State health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen updated N.C. residents on COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday, Jan. 21.


Get your batsuit and hang tight with the Wolfman as we enter into Gotham City for battle.
Sherry-Lynn Womack finds herself in the proverbial hot water. Her crime? Womack went up to Washington, D.C., for the rally for Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
The year ended with a record-breaking $3.1 trillion deficit and, as usual, the U.S. government managed to blow tens of billions on a myriad of wasteful projects that should provoke outrage among tax-paying Americans.
Protecting the Club is more important than standing on principle
Itís so easy to let jealousy trump good sense. I think thatís what a Ďwealth taxí is all about.


Back to Top