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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Supreme Court schedules oral arguments to review TCPA debt collection exemption

Courts U.S. Supreme Court Appellate Fourth Circuit TCPA

Courts

On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments via telephone conference on May 6 in a case concerning an exemption to the TCPA that allows debt collectors to use an autodialer to contact individuals on their cell phones without obtaining prior consent to do so when collecting debts guaranteed by the federal government. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the government-debt exemption contravenes the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause, and found that the challenged exemption was a content-based restriction on free speech that did not hold up to strict scrutiny review. The petitioners—Attorney General William Barr and the FCC—ask the Court to review whether the government-debt exception to the TCPA’s automated-call restriction is a violation of the First Amendment, and if so, whether the proper remedy is to sever the exception from the remainder of the statute.

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