Patriotic Veterans seeks to lift ban on robo-calls for primary

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An Illinois-based nonprofit that wants to make political robo-calls in Indiana for the May primary has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay banning the company from doing so.

Patriotic Veterans Inc. asked the 7th Circuit to reconsider its Dec. 21 decision to allow Indiana to enforce a statute restricting out-of-state robo-calls. In its motion filed April 20, the nonprofit argues that Indiana’s May 8 primary election includes several significant contested races and the organization has been asked to “place interstate political phone calls in advance of this important election by using the technology prohibited by Indiana’s Automatic Dialing Machine Statute.”

Patriotic Veterans claims that the stay is detrimental to the organization and Indiana voters because it prevents Patriotic Veterans from “engaging in core political speech during an election cycle.”

The state opposes the motion, arguing that Patriotic Veterans cited no new facts or circumstances that justify lifting the stay. The state writes in its brief that “Indiana citizens will suffer great harm to their residential privacy if the stay is lifted and PVI acts as if it has a license to flood Indiana homes with calls.”

In September, U.S. Judge William Lawrence ruled that Indiana’s Automatic Dialing Machine Statute is preempted by federal law and the state couldn’t prevent out-of-state entities from placing political robo-calls to Hoosiers. That decision was appealed, and the stay was issued allowing Indiana to enforce the statute pending a 7th Circuit decision.

The 7th Circuit has not ruled on Patriotic Veterans’ motion.



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