CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has taken the fight against robocalls to a new level – the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Attorney General recently joined a 33-state coalition in urging the Supreme Court to preserve anti-robocall provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a critical piece of legislation that allows states to sue illegal robocallers on consumers’ behalf.
The bipartisan brief, filed earlier this month, argues the Supreme Court should overturn an appeals court decision that invalidated a portion of the legislation that, if left intact, could potentially jeopardize the entire federal robocall ban.
“These nuisance calls are beyond maddening, they are dangerous,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We must fight in every arena to protect consumers. These unlawful calls victimize consumers in providing a path for predators to steal money and personally identifiable information. The Supreme Court should reverse the appeals court decision.”
Attorney General Morrisey initiated discussions last year with several phone companies in an effort to gain their commitment to expedite the deployment of scam blocking technology.
A short time later, he joined attorneys general from every state in reaching a bipartisan, public-private agreement that resulted in 12 phone companies adopting eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. The pact will protect consumers and make it easier for attorneys general and law enforcement to investigate and prosecute bad actors.
Attorney General Morrisey also successfully called upon Congress to pass the TRACED Act, legislation that enables states, federal regulators and telecom providers to take steps to combat the unlawful calls.
In January alone, Americans received more than 4.7 billion robocalls, according to data cited in the coalition’s brief.
West Virginia joined the Indiana- and North Carolina-led brief with attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.