Oklahoma's 'do not call' law could be in jeopardy

Friday, September 26th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oklahoma's law restricting telemarketing calls remains in effect but could be in jeopardy if a federal judge's ruling is upheld, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Friday.

Congress moved quickly on Thursday to nullify U.S. District Judge Lee R. West's ruling in Oklahoma City blocking the national do-not-call list from taking effect next week.

Supporters of the law had little time to rejoice, however, because U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham issued a ruling in another case in Denver declaring the federal do-not-call program unconstitutional on free speech grounds.

``Our law will be in jeopardy if Judge Nottingham's decision is upheld on appeal,'' Edmondson said. ``It is not in immediate jeopardy, but could be down the road.''

Nottingham said the law is invalid because it does not apply equally to all kinds of speech, allowing calls from charitable organizations but not for commercial companies.

``It would take a similar lawsuit in Oklahoma to invalidate our law,'' Edmondson said.

He said either the Legislature of Congress could end the free speech argument by revising laws to ``eliminate the exemption for charitable calls.''