Nov 242020
 
 November 24, 2020  Posted by  Court, Laws, U.S.

Jason C. Gavejian and Maya Atrakchi of JacksonLewis write:

In late September, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a first of its kind  ruling regarding the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (“TCPA”). The court held that TCPA provision,  47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) – which prohibits calls (and messages) made using an Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (“ATDS”)to any cellular telephone number – is unenforceable retroactively for the 5-year period between November 2015, when Congress amended the TCPA to include an exemption for government-debt, until July 2020 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the government-debt exception was unconstitutional.

In July the Supreme Court held in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants (“AAPC”) that Congress impermissibly favored government-debt collection speech over political and other speech, in violation of the First Amendment, and thus must invalidate the government-debt collection exception of the TCPA, and sever it from the remainder of the statute. Despite the potential that the Court would address the constitutionality of the TCPA in its entirety, the Court left untouched the TCPA’s general restriction on calls made with an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”).

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