The US Supreme Court has upheld a 1991 law that bars robocalls to cellphones.
The case was argued on the telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic. It only arose after Congress in 2015 created an exception in the law that allows the automated calls for collection of government debt.
Political consultants and pollsters were among those asking the Supreme Court to strike down the 1991 law that bars them from making robocalls to cellphones as a violation of their free speech rights under the Constitution.
The issue was whether, by allowing one kind of speech but not others, the exception made the whole law unconstitutional.
Six of the nine justices agreed that by allowing debt collection calls to mobile phones Congress “impermissibly favored debt-collection speech over political and other speech, in violation of the First Amendment," Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote. And seven of the nine justices agreed that the 2015 exception should be stricken from the law.
“Americans passionately disagree about many things. But they are largely united in their disdain for robocalls,” Kavanaugh noted at the outset of his opinion.