- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A federal appeals court is backing a lower court in ruling that South Carolina’s ban on automated political phone calls is unconstitutional.

The U.S. 4th District Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled earlier this month that the South Carolina law sought to restrict political and commercial robocalls but allows other types to multiply. A federal court judge in South Carolina made a similar ruling last year.

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

The charges were dismissed and Cahaly filed a lawsuit claiming that his constitutional right to free speech had been violated.

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