The US Supreme Court is set to consider whether an exemption by Congress to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 2015 renders the statute an unconstitutional content-based restriction on free speech. The court will have virtual oral argument on May 6, 2020, and the Court’s opinion could have far-reaching consequences for TCPA litigation. Bloomberg Law turned to Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Artin Betpera, a leader of the firm’s TCPA Defense Force and a veteran TCPA litigator, for analysis.
The 2015 exemption to the TCPA allows robocalls for collecting student loans and other government debt. In Barr v. AAPC, the Supreme Court will debate whether such an exemption exclusively for government interests is Constitutional.
Betpera tells Bloomberg law that if the Supreme Court finds the exemption to be in violation of the First Amendment, it may: 1. Sever the amendment from the TCPA or 2. Strike down the TCPA entirely. “There’s no easy answer, especially considering the broader potential implications of the court’s opinion,” he said.
Artin Betpera is a partner and trial lawyer with a national practice principally representing financial services companies in litigation in federal and state courts, involving both class and individual claims. He has developed a particular focus on Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation, but has significant experience in traditional commercial litigation, and regularly appears on behalf of some of the country’s most significant banks and financial institutions.