High court refuses to hear challenge to 'robo-call' law

By The Associated Press
10.10.06

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court turned away an appeal today from a northern Virginia political-polling firm that had sought to challenge a North Dakota law that bars telemarketers from making prerecorded interstate calls to that state's residents.

The North Dakota Do-Not-Call law says callers cannot use robo-call machines unless a live operator first obtains the subscriber's consent before a prerecorded message is delivered.

The Herndon, Va., political-polling firm, FreeEats.com, has argued that the North Dakota law is preempted by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which allows prerecorded non-commercial calls. Justices declined to review a North Dakota Supreme Court ruling upholding the law.

FreeEats.com used a prerecorded voice to ask questions about gun rights, abortion and tuition tax credits for attending private schools. Recipients were asked to respond by pushing buttons on their touch-tone phones.

The case is FreeEats.com v. North Dakota, 06-127.