Campaigns & Elections reports that on Monday the Indiana Supreme Court will hear an important case involving restrictions on robocalls and automated dialing systems.
The state parties have retained well-known First Amendment lawyer James Bopp, who filed an amicus brief in support of American Family Voices. Bopp claims the attorney general is going beyond the scope of the statute in applying the law to political calls. His interpretation is that the law only bans commercial calls.
“If you apply this statute to political calls,” Bopp says, “it severely limits the use of this technology and it hurts the ability of campaigns to communicate. That violates the First Amendment.”
The statute in question harkens back 20 years, and it took some research on the part of the state attorney general’s office to realize it was even on the books. After Indiana passed one of the toughest commercial do-not-call laws in the nation back in 2001, [AG Steve] Carter says his office was flooded with requests to do away with political calls. That was when Carter found the 1988 law banning auto calls, and he put the state parties on notice before the 2006 election cycle that he intended to enforce it. And, for the most part, the threat of enforcement has worked.
Shaun’s site (The National Political Do Not Contact Registry) has more on the case.