Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined attorneys general of 36 other states and the District of Columbia in a case against Facebook, and the social media giant’s desire to do robocalls to cell phones.
The states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a lower court ruling that supported a broad definition of “automatic telephone dialing system”, commonly called autodialers, based on the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA.
At issue is whether autodialers include only a device that can store and dial numbers it generates, or whether autodialers also includes devices that select a random number from numbers on a targeted list.
The attorneys general argue that the TCPA applies to all devices that store and dial numbers automatically.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld this broader definition when it rejected Facebook’s appeal in 2019.
The attorneys general wrote that by narrowing the interpretation of the act, robocallers and robotexters would remain able to inundate cellphones, as well as emergency numbers, hospitals and business-phone systems, with unwanted communications.