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Attorney General Josh Stein Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Ban on Robocalls

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 2, 2020

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed an amicus brief in support of the United States in Barr v. AAPC, a case that challenges the constitutionality of a part of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs challenge the federal ban on robocalls. North Carolina Attorney General Stein co-authored the bipartisan brief with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. Confronting robocalls is one of Attorney General Stein’s top priorities.

“Robocalls plague people all across North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “They are incredibly annoying and disruptive – and they’re also dangerous. Far too many people lose money as a result of these calls every day. That’s why the scammers keep making them. The law must side with victims of these scams, not the perpetrators. That is why I was proud to lead 32 of my colleagues in filing this brief.”

The TCPA, enacted in 1991, is a critical piece of federal consumer protection legislation allowing states to sue illegal robocallers on their residents’ behalf. A decision in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently invalidated a portion of the act, potentially jeopardizing the entire federal robocall ban.

In their brief, Attorney General Stein and a coalition of 32 other states explain that state attorneys general have a strong interest in protecting their citizens from robocalls, which invade personal privacy and are used to perpetuate scams and fraud. The brief further explains that striking down the federal robocall ban would threaten the constitutionality of at least 42 similar state laws.

The Supreme Court will decide the case this spring. Attorney General Stein is joined in filing the brief by the Attorneys General of Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

More on Attorney General Josh Stein’s Work to Combat Robocalls:

A copy of the brief is available here.

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-8484

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