DENVER (CN) – The 10th Circuit remanded a free-speech challenge to a portion of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requiring caller identification for automated calls, because the plaintiff and the lower court failed to give the U.S. Attorney General the opportunity to intervene.
Plaintiff Tim Pope sued Oklahoma and the state attorney general, claiming the identification requirement violated his First Amendment right to speak anonymously. But neither Pope nor the district court notified the U.S. attorney general of the constitutional challenge to federal law, which is required by civil procedure. This allows the U.S. attorney general to intervene and present evidence if he chooses.
“At oral argument, neither party even seemed aware that this requirement existed,” Judge McConnell wrote. The appeals court vacated the lower court’s judgment and remanded.