Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants

Brief Details

Paul Sherman
Senior Attorney
Robert McNamara
Deputy Litigation Director
Everyone hates robocalls. But last year, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress’s attempt to regulate robocalls—through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act— violated the First Amendment. Instead of banning all robocalls, Congress had banned robocalls on some topics while allowing robocalls that discussed other topics (like certain kinds of debt collection). So far, so normal: Courts have for decades held that this kind of “content-based” regulation is unconstitutional. But instead of striking down the unconstitutional law, the Fourth Circuit proceeded to rewrite it, striking out the exemption for debt-collection robocalls and ordering the government to enforce the law against all robocallers.