TCPA Law Ruled Unconstitutional

tcpa law
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In a landmark decision that could have widespread and significant implications, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) was unconstitutional from 2015 to 2020.  In doing so, the Court vacated claims that TCPA law had been violated in connection with calls received during that time period. 

Why was the TCPA law ruled unconstitutional and what does it mean going forward?

Readers will recall that the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) recently declared that the government debt exception to the TCPA was unconstitutional, and, therefore, severed it from the broader TCPA law robocalling prohibitions.  While most observers processed SCOTUS’ decision as a straightforward remedy leaving intact the constitutionally valid portions of the statute, SCOTUS failed to reach a majority rationale for severing the exemption from the TCPA.  Because of this lack of clarity, the Louisiana Court determined that the only logical reading of the SCOTUS decision is that “in the years in which [the government debt exception] permitted robocalls of one category of content . . . while prohibiting robocalls of other categories of content, the entirety of the prohibition was, indeed, unconstitutional.”  In the District Court’s opinion, this renders claims alleging violation of the TCPA’s robocalling prohibition null and void if those claims arise from calls or text messages received after Congress’s enactment of the government debt exception in 2015, but before the SCOTUS decision rendered on July 6, 2020.  

Potential Sea Change for TCPA Law

As the District Court Judge noted, the issue of whether the entire TCPA robocalling prohibition was unconstitutional during the existence of the government debt exception was one of first impression, meaning that no other Court has ruled on this question yet.  While it remains unclear how widespread the adoption of this rationale will be (limited, we expect), it would behoove any marketing company that is defending a TCPA lawsuit to request relief on this basis.  In addition to a defense against an individual call recipient’s claims, the ability to defeat TCPA claims for calls dating back to 2015 is a powerful tool to employ in an effort to reduce exposure to TCPA class action lawsuits. Regardless of how this case is parsed, it is incumbent to consult with TCPA counsel to incorporate this decision as part of a broader litigation defense strategy. 

If you need to review your telemarketing practices or are the subject of a TCPA litigation proceeding, please e-mail us at, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

Attorney Advertising

Photo by Ilias Chebbi on Unsplash

Similar Blog Posts:

TRACED Act Contains New TCPA Penalties

Second Circuit Decision Deepens TCPA Law Split

TCPA Law Update: Marijuana Delivery Venture Seeks Arbitration of TCPA Class Action Suit

David O. Klein

David O. Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the telemarketing, technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.

Schedule a Call
In The Know

Trending Topics

New York Sweepstakes Law blog- Klein Moynihan Turco

New York Sweepstakes Law: Are You Compliant?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In general, a lottery exists when entrants pay for the chance to win a prize. States alone reserve the right to administer lotteries. Businesses can eliminate one element of what would otherwise be an illegal lottery, in order to transform it into a legal promotional game. If the requirement to

TCPA surveys

An Ad or not an Ad: NY Weighs in on TCPA Surveys

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Another day, another court decision that refines constitutes a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) unsolicited fax advertisement. A Manhattan-based federal court recently issued a decision that removes faxed invitations to participate in a survey from the TCPA definition of advertisement. In drawing this distinction for TCPA surveys, the Court held

NY sports gambling law- Klein Moynihan Turco

Agreement Reached to Enact NY Sports Gambling Law

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature agreed to a budget deal that will bring mobile sports betting to the State through a unique NY sports gambling law.  Upon the Governor’s signature, NY sports gambling is primed to become the nation’s largest market. However, New York

UK and US Social Media Influencer Laws

UK and US Social Media Influencer Laws

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In September of 2020, the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”) reviewed the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based social media influencers to determine whether content was being properly flagged as advertising in accordance with applicable social media influencer laws. This past March, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”)

Running a Telemarketing Business?

Get a Free Compliance Review From an Experienced TCPA Lawyer.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin