October 7, 2003
Filed under Free Expression
An appeals court is allowing the Federal Trade Commission to move forward in implementing the National Do Not Call list while it considers whether the list violates telemarketers' free-speech rights. This decision adds a new chapter in the ongoing battles over the list. First, a U.S. District Court judge in Oklahoma ruled that the FTC lacked the authority to create the registry. Congress immediately overturned that decision by adopting a law, which the President signed, specifically giving the FTC the authority to enforce the Do Not Call rule. However, a different federal judge, in Colorado, declared the rule unconstitutional on free speech grounds - a decision that Congress cannot directly overturn. The new decision gives the FTC the ability to move ahead in enforcing the list.