by Nathan L. Garroway, Bety Javidzad and Mark A. Silver
The Ninth Circuit phrased the question in Victory Processing v. Fox succinctly: "whether Montana Code section 45-8-216(1)(e) - which restricts automated telephone calls promoting a political campaign or any use related to a political campaign - violates the First Amendment." The court answered this question in the affirmative, following the Fourth Circuit's ruling on a similar statute in South Carolina.
The court acknowledged that it has upheld numerous robocall laws, but these previous cases focused on whether the robocall regulations were reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. This was the first case challenging the constitutionality of a law that focused on the content of the robocall.