Law360 reports on the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and how it could drastically transform how the statute is wielded in court and spur a perpetually divided Congress to craft a new set of robocall restrictions.
In the article “How the High Court Could Reshape the TCPA’s Future,” the legal industry publication turned to Drinker Biddle partner Mike Daly for insight into the high court’s agreement to review a Fourth Circuit ruling that struck down an exemption to the TCPA that allows government-backed debt collectors to skirt the statute’s blanket ban on autodialed calls and texts but kept the broader autodialer restriction intact.
According to Law360, businesses accused of contacting consumers with unwanted calls and texts have long argued that the autodialer ban is a content-based restriction on free speech that violates the First Amendment. With the issue now being brought before the Supreme Court, the statute could be headed for a major makeover that would significantly alter the TCPA class action landscape.
“The real fight will be about the remedy,” said Daly.
He added, “There is no denying that exempting attempts to collect federal debts—and only federal debts—is a content-based regulation. There is also no denying that doing so is not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest. It follows that the exemption fails strict scrutiny. The only question, then, is whether to sever the exemption or scuttle the statute.”