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October 23, 2003

Pro-Spam "Anti-Spam" Law

Woohee- the Senate has voted 97-0 to ban unwanted spam.

Or have they? Whatever the merits of the law in question, the real key to understanding its passage is that email marketers SUPPORTED the law.


Because it would preempt (i.e. override) tougher state laws, such as one just passed in California. See here:

Many in the business community are particularly anxious for a federal law because they want it to supersede existing state laws that they consider draconian.

In a memo sent out Tuesday to industry organizations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that a new California law set to take effect Jan. 1 would hurt "almost every type of business across the country."

The law, authored by California state Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles), prohibits all unsolicited commercial e-mail unless consumers have first given their permission to receive it, a system known as "opt-in" and supported by consumer groups.

This is similar to "tort reform" legislation, where state courts would be stripped of the power to judge class action lawsuits, even if the laws broken are state laws. Senate Dems are filibustering that law, but it emphasized what a joke conservative rhetoric around "federalism" and "states rights" is.

Conservative types become rapid federal power junkies whenever states are protecting labor or consumer interests. They only believe in "states rights" when those states are being racist or taking away the right to choose or are anti-gay rights.

Which tells you that it's never been about "states rights"-- it's always been about discrimination. When business interests are at stake, conservatives think states rights can go to hell.

Posted by Nathan at October 23, 2003 09:39 AM