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Recompose: TCPA Annual Review 2020 – Analysis of Critical Issues and Trends in TCPA Compliance and Litigation | Eversheds Sutherland (USA) LLP

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Supreme Court Leaves TCPA Untouched; cancels the exception for the recovery of the public debt –

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) remains in place, but the exception allowing robocalls for government debt collection has fallen, in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the law. Barr c. American Association of Political Consultants, No. 19-631 (July 6, 2020). Although some commentators predicted that the Court might take the opportunity to strike down the TCPA’s robocall provisions as an unconstitutional restriction on the right to free speech, the Court opted for a more limited route. In a case where the justices seemed to generally agree on the appropriate result, if not the reasoning, six of the justices agreed that the exception for government debt collection – allowing such appeals to be made without the same restrictions imposed on others appeals – was a content-based distinction impermissible under the First Amendment. But there was little appetite to invalidate the TCPA in its entirety. Seven of the justices agreed that the proper remedy was to sever the unconstitutional exception, leaving the rest of the TCPA in place. Only Justices Gorsuch and Thomas advocated overturning the TCPA’s broader restrictions on robocalls.

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