U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2019 Term

Oral Argument Date

April 22, 2020


Questions Presented

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

Case Updates

Supreme Court issues fractured opinion preserving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s autodialer restriction

July 06, 2020

The Supreme Court issued a fractured opinion that preserves the TCPA’s autodialer restriction. A majority of the justices concluded that the TCPA violates the First Amendment, but refused to adopt our preferred remedy of invalidating the ban on automated calls. Instead, the Court adopted the narrower remedy of severing the exception for calls to collect government debt, thus expanding the reach of the autodialer restriction.

Enacted in 1991, the TCPA generally prohibits autodialer calls to a cell phone number without the user’s consent. But in 2015, Congress created an exception for calls “made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.” The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and other political organizations sued to challenge this statutory scheme as an unlawful, content-based restriction on speech, and argued that the proper remedy is to invalidate the TCPA’s restriction on their speech. The U.S. Chamber filed a brief in support of AAPC’s argument that the proper remedy for any constitutional violation is to invalidate the autodialer ban.

U.S. Chamber files merits-stage brief in First Amendment challenge to Telephone Consumer Protection Act

April 01, 2020

The Chamber’s amicus brief argues that the proper remedy for any First Amendment violation is to strike the prohibition on speech, not to sever the speech-permitting exemption. Shay Dvoretzky of Jones Day LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Case Documents