35 states’ attorneys general say public should be protected from robocalls

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (WEHT) — Attorney General Todd Rokita is leading a multistate action to overturn a federal court decision and ensure state attorneys general can effectively fight robocalls.

35 attorneys general, including Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, are part of a bipartisan coalition led by Attorney General Rokita and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. Contrary to a federal district court’s ruling, the participating states filed a brief arguing that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s robocall ban was enforceable from 2015 to 2020.

A “government debt exception” was signed into law in 2015, which allowed for calls and texts made for the purpose of collecting on debts owed to the federal government. This exception was severed from the TCPA and invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020.

Later, a district court ruled that the “government debt exception” contaminated the entirety of the TCPA, and therefore, the TCPA could not be used to hold robocallers accountable during the period between 2015 and 2020.

The bipartisan coalition argues that, aside from the government debt exception, the rest of the TCPA can and must be upheld so it can be enforced.

(This story was originally published on February 2, 2021)

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