October 7, 2003
Filed under Free Expression
Court challenges have delayed implementation of a federal rule prohibiting telephone sales calls to consumers who had registered with a Do Not Call list created by the Fderal Trade Commission. 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 FTC has appealed, but the case could take months. The Federal Communications Commission has said it will try to enforce the list, but that effort faces hurdles. As of October 5, one trade association had urged its members to honor the list, but another association said its members would keep making calls.