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Judge: SC Robocall Ban Is Unconstitutional

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(Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a South Carolina ban on automated political phone calls is unconstitutional.

The State newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1pxGYfw ) that U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs made that ruling in an order signed earlier this month.

The ruling is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Robert Cahaly. The political consultant was arrested in 2010 after robocalls comparing one female Democratic statehouse candidate to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were traced to him.

After the charges were dismissed, Cahaly filed a lawsuit claiming his constitutional right to free speech had been violated.

Childs said state law unfairly singles out political speech, noting the state attorney general previously had interpreted the law to allow political robocalls as long as they are delivered to an answering machine or conducted a survey.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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