Congressional Democrats wasted little time in promising to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 holding in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, ruling that an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TPCA) “must have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.”
In a joint statement, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) said that the Court had abandoned consumers and opened the floodgates to untold numbers of new robocalls. The joint statement noted:
“‘Today, the Supreme Court tossed aside years of precedent, clear legislative history, and ‘essential consumer protection to issue a ruling that is disastrous for everyone who has a mobile phone in the United States…. It was clear when the TCPA was introduced that Congress wanted to ban dialing from a database. By narrowing the scope of the TCPA, the Court is allowing companies the ability to assault the public with a non-stop wave of unwanted calls and texts, around the clock.’”
“‘Fortunately, we can and will act to make right what the Supreme Court got wrong. We plan to soon introduce legislation to amend the TCPA, fix the Court’s error, and protect consumers. If the Justices find their private mobile phones ringing non-stop from now until our legislation becomes law, they’ll only have themselves to blame….’”
Senator Markey is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which has jurisdiction over TCPA legislation. Congresswomen Eshoo serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee with similar jurisdiction. Both had joined in an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court uphold the broader definition of an ATDS advocated by Mr. Duguid.