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Telecommunications – robocalls

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Telecommunications – robocalls — preemption

Federal law does not preempt state regulation of automated telephone messages.

“Patriotic Veterans cites our decision in Indiana Bell Tel. Co., Inc. v. Indiana Util. Regulatory Com’n., 359 F.3d 493, 497 (7th Cir. 2004) and the Supreme Court in Gade v. Nat’l Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass’n, 505 U.S. 88, 103 (1992), for the proposition that ‘[i]n determining whether state law stands as an obstacle to the full implementation of federal law, it is not enough to say that the ultimate goal of both federal and state law is the same. A state law also is pre-empted if it interferes with the methods by which the federal statute was designed to reach the goal.’ Indiana Bell, 359 F.3d at 497, citing Gade, 505 U.S. at 103. In Indiana Bell, a state agency’s order interfered with the method that the federal act sets forth for the application process for long-distance telephone service providers to enter the long distance market. Id. at 497–98. In brief, the language in Indiana Bell indicates that conflict preemption applies not only to conflicts between federal and state substantive rules, but also to state rules that interfere with processes established by federal acts. In this case, however, there is no such conflict in process. The Indiana law is more restrictive than the federal law, but in no way does it frustrate any process that the federal statute requires.”

Reversed and Remanded.

11-3265 Patriotic Veterans, Inc., v. State of Indiana

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Lawrence, J., Rovner, J.

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