September 25, 2003


Do Not Call: Congress Speed Dials (CBS News, Sept. 25, 2003)

The House voted 412-8 after less than hour of debate. Lawmakers from both parties uniformly blasted a decision by U.S. District Judge Lee R. West, who ruled Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission lacked authority to create and operate the registry. [...]

The Senate was to vote later in the day, reports CBS News Correspondent Howard Arenstein.

It probably still won't pass constitutional muster, but it's amusing to see how fast they act when 40 million people have signed up for something.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2003 2:17 PM

I have a great deal of sympathy for the decision of the court. Executive branch agencies should indeed require specific authorization for much of their actions. It would limit the government busybodies. This merely proves how easy it is to get Congressional approval for specific things that people actually want.

Posted by: John Thacker at September 25, 2003 3:12 PM

John - Yes, the judge made the right decision, and now Congress is creating the legislation that always should have preceded the executive action.

Posted by: pj at September 25, 2003 5:39 PM


Except that it's unconstitutional on its face.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2003 7:20 PM

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech..."

This law did nothing to abridge telemarketer's freedom of speech.

They can talk to a dialtone all they want.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 25, 2003 8:41 PM


Now you're just being silly. Restrictions on callers would of course be a restriction of speech--the fact folks need to face up to is we aren't free speech absolutists. These kinds of restrictions on speech are fine by almost all of us. Call a spade a spade.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2003 8:45 PM

Got to agree with Mr. Guinn on this one. You can call me names and play your so-called "rock and roll," but you can't do it in my yard.

All goes back to the Rule of Guinn about your right to punch me in the face ending at the tip of my nose.

Posted by: Jimmy at September 25, 2003 10:03 PM

Geez, Jimmy. First you're down with the oligarchs, now you're like some militia-type property rights fanatic. We'll have you voting for the moron by Spring.

Posted by: oj at September 25, 2003 10:07 PM


No more silly than saying I'm denying Howard Dean's free speech rights by declining to show up at his next campaign rally.

Okay, more to the point, Carol Mousely Braun. If no one shows up at her next rally (functional equivalent of a dial tone) did we collectively or individually deny her free speech rights?

Speaking and listening are two entirely different things. The Constitution protects the former, and has nothing to say about the latter.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 26, 2003 8:44 AM


That's precisely right: they can call to speak to you and you can hang up.

Posted by: oj at September 26, 2003 8:57 AM

But they have forced me to listen to my phone that I pay for ring.

Or doesn't that count?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 26, 2003 12:11 PM

You have to carry junk mail to your house and pay to dispose of it.

Posted by: oj at September 26, 2003 1:11 PM

Incremental cost, both financial and opportunity: zero

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 26, 2003 8:10 PM

But you think answering your phone is a major financial liability?

Posted by: oj at September 26, 2003 8:39 PM