The Legislative Battles Have Begun: Markey and Eshoo Vow to “Fix” The Supreme Court’s Facebook “Error”

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson

Mere hours after the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Facebook v. Duguid was released, the legislative fight to overturn it began. Not surprisingly, leading the charge is Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and one of the original authors of the TCPA. In 2019, Senator Markey proposed legislation that would have redefined the phrase “automatic telephone dialing system” to include “equipment that makes a series of calls to stored telephone numbers, including numbers stored on a list.”

Markey’s response to the Facebook decision was joined in the House by Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The pair issued a joint statement that calls the Supreme Court’s decision “disastrous for everyone who has a mobile phone in the United States” and argues that “the Court is allowing companies the ability to assault the public with a non-stop wave of unwanted calls and texts, around the clock.”

According to Markey and Eshoo, the Supreme Court’s decision, rather than enforcing the TCPA, actually ignores the “clear legislative history” that the TCPA was meant to “to ban dialing from a database.” “The legislative history for the TCPA makes it clear that Congress was not only concerned with corporate America randomly generating numbers and calling those numbers, but was also concerned with corporate America buying lists to make telemarketing calls,” the lawmakers wrote in their statement.

Markey and Eshoo state that they intend to “introduce legislation to amend the TCPA, fix the Court’s error, and protect consumers.”

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