Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Comissioner Michael O’Rielly is renowned for this straight talk and common sense on TCPA issues.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly
His exacting dissent to the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Omnibus ruling was the stuff of legend– and was ultimately proven dead right when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later obliterated the FCC’s expansive treatment of the TCPA’s ATDS definition as inconsistent with reasoned rulemaking.
Since 2015 he has remained a stalwart proponent of common sense reforms of the oft-abused TCPA. Just last year, for instance, he gave a fantastic speech explaining how “patchwork” ATDS interpretations have thrown the TCPAworld into chaos and urging industry participants to petition the FCC (and comment on pending petitions) to demand clarity and uniformity. His words then:
It’s your job to convince my colleagues and agency staff to [reform the TCPA]… It will take extensive cooperation and collaboration with everyone else caught in the TCPA spider web, screaming the same message at the same fever pitch.
This was a remarkable entreaty from a sitting FCC Commissioner for TCPA defendants to raise their voices before the Commission—get up and get out to Washington to advocate for reform.
If you missed his remarks last year, you’ll have a chance to hear from Commissioner O’Rielly NEXT WEEK. He is attending a Federalist Society teleforum NEXT Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (And thanks to the little birdie that tipped me on this.)
Here’s an abstract:
On May 6, 2020, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants. While the case focused specifically on the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) exemption allowing robocalls, without consent, to collect government debt, the fate of the statute itself hangs in the balance as the Supreme Court decides on an appropriate remedy.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly… [will] discuss the implications of Barr v. AAPC within the broader TCPA landscape, including the nationwide circuit split on interpreting “automatic telephone dialing system” and the FCC’s role in resolving ongoing legal and regulatory uncertainty.
TCPAWorld has obviously covered the SCOTUS review thoroughly with live coverage during the argument, definitive analysis following the argumentand a podcast breaking it down further. It is great that we can now point folks to get Commissioner O’Reilly’s thoughts on this as well.
The meeting is open to the public (not just Fed Soc members) and I highly encourage ALL of you to attend. You can bet the Czar and the royal court will be paying close attention. Maybe I’ll get a shout out (or that long-awaited podcast acceptance?).