4. With those understandings, I concur in the judgment. [6][7], In 2017, the plaintiffs and the U.S. government each filed motions for summary judgmentRefers to a judgment granted on a claim about which there is no genuine issue of fact and to which the party moving for judgment prevails as a matter of law. Sanford • The plurality finds the government-debt exception unconstitutional primarily by applying a logical syllogism: (1) "Content-based laws are subject to strict scrutiny.” Ante, at 6 (citing Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. 155, 163–164 (2015)). Therefore, MCM contends that the TCPA places excessive burdens and costs on businesses through its ever-expanding litigations. at 25. Scalia • Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc. U.S. Supreme Court. [8], Justice Stephen Breyer filed an opinion concurring in the judgment with respect to severability and dissenting in part, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. How to File a Code of Ethics Complaint; eNews ; Get Involved; Manage My Account/ Renew; Member Seal; Member Spotlight. Brewer • at 22, 24–25. Id. Id. And, in my view, there is no basis here to apply "strict scrutiny" based on "content discrimination". The other two standards are intermediate scrutiny and rational basis review.". Member Network; AAPC Wire; AAPC Advantage; Code of Ethics. Davis • 19–631. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) (2018). Latin for "to be more fully informed." EPIC further contends that with evolving technology and readily available mass-dialing and auto-dialing technology, the number of robocalls is likely to increase in the future. Am. Brief for MCM at 15–16. Although Congress likely contemplated protecting cellphone users from unwanted charges in enacting the cellphone-call restriction, AAPC asserts, because most cellphone carriers no longer impose charges for calls, the Government cannot rely on charge-avoidance to justify the ban’s broad scope. The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) is the trade group for the political consulting profession in the United States.Founded in 1969, it is the world's largest organization of political consultants, public affairs professionals and communications specialists. It explains that such calls help borrowers understand loan repayment options and ensures due process by giving them every “opportunity to repay debt in accordance with their financial ability to pay.” Id. April 3, 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court postponed its April sitting. According to Politico, the government petitioners, U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Federal Communications Commission, “argued that the court erred in throwing out the debt collector exception but would ask for severability even if its argument is turned aside.” at 18–20. at 17. Douglas • Curtis • Cf. Campbell • Iredell • The law at the center of the case, Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, is the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a landmark piece of … Shiras • The First Amendment is not concerned with unequal treatment, AAPC maintains, but abridgment of speech rights, and therefore, “levelling up” remedies such that the exception applies to no one are inappropriate. May 6, 2020: Oral argument 2. Brief for Petitioner, William P. Barr & Federal Communications Commission at 14–15. The Court’s decision raises concerns about consumers’ privacy interests, the government’s ability to collect debt, and increasing litigation costs. Brief of Amicus Curiae Chamber of Commerce, in Support of Respondent at 16–17. Furthermore, the State of Indiana points out that when Congress enacted the TCPA, it deemed automated calls “pervasive” and an “intrusive invasion of privacy.” Brief of Amici Curiae State of Indiana et al., in Support of Petitioner at 10. External Relations: Alison Prange • Sara Key • Kari Berger Respondents (plaintiffs-appellants below) are the American Association of Political Consultants, Inc.; the Democratic Party of Oregon, Inc.; Public Policy Polling, LLC; and the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. Whether the government-debt exception to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991’s automated-call restriction violates the First Amendment, and whether the proper remedy for any constitutional violation is to sever the exception from the remainder of the statute. v. AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF POLITICAL CONSULTANTS, INC., et al. Congress declared its intent unambiguously, the Government contends, by including a severability clause providing that if any part of the TCPA is held invalid, a reviewing court shall to the extent possible leave the Act intact. No. But the harm, as I have explained, is related not to public efforts to develop ideas or transmit them to the Government, but to the Government's response to those efforts, which here takes the form of highly regulated commercial communications. However, the U.S. Supreme Court announced on April 3 that it was postponing the eight oral arguments originally scheduled during its April sitting. Id. It is an "order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case it will hear on appeal.". Goldberg • It is an "order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case it will hear on appeal. November 14, 2019: United States Attorney General William Barr and the Federal Communications Commissionfiled a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court. (3) Hence, the exception is subject to “strict scrutiny.” Ante, at 9. Click here to contact us for media inquiries, and please donate here to support our continued expansion. Accordingly, I respectfully concur in the judgment with respect to severability and dissent in part. FIRST AMENDMENT; FREE SPEECH; INTERMEDIATE SCRUTINY; SEVERABILITY; FCC, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, American Association of Political Consultants, Inc, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Sutherland • Id. at 46–47, 49. at 18. I agree with much of the partial dissent's explanation that strict scrutiny should not apply to all content-based distinctions. Because the challenged robocall ban unconstitutionally infringes on their speech, I would hold that the plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction preventing its enforcement against them. As an example, the Government posits that an automated call consisting of the content “please promptly submit this month’s payment” would be permissible if payment were on a government debt, but impermissible on a private debt. The Government claims that hundreds of billions of dollars of delinquent debt owed to the United States remains uncollected. Barbour • We have typically called this approach “intermediate scrutiny,” though we have sometimes referred to it as an assessment of "fit," sometimes called it "proportionality," and sometimes just applied it without using a label. at 33. Id. May 7, 2020 Michael P. Daly and Deanna J. Hayes Automatic Telephone Dialing System, Debt Collection, Exemptions, First Amendment, Strict Scrutiny, Supreme Court. Day • What happens to this term's major SCOTUS cases in a 4-4 split? Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants Inc. was a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on May 6, 2020, during the court's October 2019-2020 term. Clifford • Minton • The Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (“PRC”) also argues that the TCPA could harm consumers by censoring messages and chilling free speech. The SLSA contends that having live, in-person conversations over the phone is an important avenue for the government to collect such debt. Id. The Government contends that because the government-debt exception is content-neutral, it need only satisfy intermediate scrutiny to survive a First Amendment challenge. Id. Kagan • The argument focused on the two questions … Strong • R. Jackson • Blatchford • Id. The plaintiffs alleged that the debt-collection exemption constitutes a content-based restriction on speech, thus violating their right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Midland Credit Management (“MCM”), in support of AAPC, argues that the TCPA’s cellphone-call ban is not necessary to protect privacy interests. A court's written order commanding the recipient to either do or refrain from doing a specified act. at 24. 19-631 | 4th Cir. The U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the FCC petitioned to the Supreme Court, which granted certiorari on January 10, 2020. SLSA points out that the government had approximately $203 billion worth of delinquent debt in 2018, exposing how much debt the government has to collect. As to that question, I agree with Justice Kavanaugh's conclusion that the provision is severable. Concurrently, the court rejected the plaintiffs' free speech clause challenge. They also contend that the exception satisfies intermediate scrutiny because the exception strikes the appropriate balance between Congress’s legitimate interests in protecting consumer privacy and preserving public funds. Gorsuch • The Government argues that the exception, if invalid, is severable from the cellphone-call ban because the ban stood for twenty-four years before the exception was enacted, and because this history suggests that Congress would prefer to leave the ban in place. Moreover, the Government continues, the government-debt exception less strongly implicates the TCPA’s consumer-privacy aims because those who borrow money under an obligation to repay it should reasonably expect to be contacted if they shirk their obligations. at 7. It must thus decide whether that provision is severable from the rest of the statute. We hold that the 2015 government-debt exception added an unconstitutional exception to the law. Id. We cure that constitutional violation by invalidating the 2015 government-debt exception and severing it from the remainder of the statute. at 20. Join AAPC; Member Center. See ante, at 2; post, at 11–12 (opinion of Breyer, J. Hunt • Burton • Preventing the law's enforcement against the plaintiffs would fully address their injury. Facebook, Inc. agrees, adding that under certain interpretations of the TCPA, consumers could be liable for ordinary iPhone text messages and phone calls. at 19. Moreover, AAPC argues, a court would implicate separation-of-powers concerns by striking down the exception but leaving the ban in place, because the court would be prohibiting speech that Congress preferred to preserve. at 26. Clark • Educational seminar: Preview of Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants (Katie Bart) Argument preview: Justices take on First Amendment challenge to robocall law (Amanda Shanor) Court sets cases for May telephone arguments, will make live audio available (Amy Howe) Court releases April calendar (Amy Howe) Justices grant three new cases (Amy Howe) Petitions of the … Whether the government-debt exception to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991’s automated-call restriction violates the First Amendment, and whether the proper remedy for any constitutional violation is to sever the exception from the remainder of the statute. Id. Instead, the Government contends, the exception focuses on the economic activity the caller engages in rather than the content of calls. The problem with that approach, which reflexively applies strict scrutiny to all content-based speech distinctions, is that it is divorced from First Amendment values. Unable to solve the problems associated with its preferred severance remedy, today's decision seeks to at least identify "harm[s]" associated with mine. The American Association of Political Consultants, Inc., et al. Am. The United States Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in Barr v.American Association of Political Consultants on Monday, July 6, striking down the government-backed debt exemption in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Frankfurter • at 17. L. Lamar • Moreover, EPIC asserts that such calls “outrage” consumers, indicated by the 3.8 million complaints filed before the Federal Trade Commission in the first nine months of 2019. See Brief of Amicus Curiae the Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, in Support of Respondent at 17. Id. Grier • Woodbury • Id. at 12, 16, 17. Harlan I • Wayne • Respectfully, if this is what modern "severability doctrine" has become, it seems to me all the more reason to reconsider our course.[8]. at 46. 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