Supreme Court rejects net neutrality appeal

08 November, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Regina Silva
  • The U.S. Supreme Court rejected AT&T's appeal to overturn the 2015 net neutrality rules.                  CNET  Marguerite Reardon

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to hear a case regarding the legality of Obama-era Net Neutrality rules-putting an end to a lengthy legal battle by declining to hear USTelecom's appeal.

The Justice Department's move was unusually aggressive in terms of procedure, asking the justices to take action even before intermediate federal appeals courts have ruled on the three lower court rulings.

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices' private conference on Friday.

In September 2017, the government announced plans to phase out the program, but lower court judges blocked the administration from doing so and ordered that renewals of protections for recipients continue until the appeals are resolved. Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts recused themselves from the vote.

The action Monday was the first on a gun rights issue since conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by President Donald Trump, joined the court last month.

The court did not disclose how individual justices voted in the California case.

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The Trump administration overturned net neutrality regulations previous year.

"The Supreme Court's decision is push-back against FCC Chairman Pai's effort to get rid of net neutrality".

The FCC itself also was in favor of voiding the decision that upheld its 2015-era rules, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the commission.

The administration's attempt to end the program past year was rejected by multiple federal courts and the Department of Homeland Security was ordered to continue accepting renewal applications while the case is adjudicated. It actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet policies. It means that the D.C. Circuit's court's 2016 decision to uphold "both the FCC's classification of broadband as a telecommunications service, and its rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or degrading Internet content, remains in place", senior counsel John Bergmayer of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge said.

"Let's call this interesting", she added.

The FCC's repeal of net neutrality is also the subject of separate legal battles, after it was challenged by tech companies and advocacy groups, in addition to more than 20 US states.

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