Monday, October 04, 2004

A Victory for Property Rights: The Do-No-Call Registry Lives

The U.S. Supreme Court has "let stand a lower-court ruling that telemarketers' rights to free speech are not violated by the government's nationwide do-not-call list," according to a Reuters report at MSNBC. The report continues:
Without comment, the justices rejected an appeal by commercial telemarketers against the lower-court ruling, which upheld as constitutional the popular program in which consumers can put their names on a list if they do not want to be called by telemarketers.

"We hold that the do-not-call registry is a valid commercial speech regulation because it directly advances the government's important interests in safeguarding personal privacy and reducing the danger of telemarketing abuse without burdening an excessive amount of speech," the appeals court said.
It's all too nuanced for me. Here was my take on the issue, back on June 29:
It's my phone and my house, dammit. There's no free speech issue. Does freedom of speech give anyone the right to burst into your house at dinner time and shout "Joe Schmoe for dogcatcher!"? I don't think so.
Anyway, let's celebrate a victory for property rights, even if the courts can't bring themselves to call it that.