Supreme Court refuses anti-net neutrality appeals

Alicia Cross
November 8, 2018

While the Trump-era FCC has since repealed net neutrality, companies such as AT&T and Verizon brought the appeals court ruling to the Supreme Court along with six other cases, all in the hopes of officially removing the court's decision supporting net neutrality.

As a result, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stands.

The Federal Communications Commission's 2015 order to impose net neutrality rules and strictly regulate broadband was already reversed by Trump's pick for FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. In declining to hear an earlier Trump administration appeal in February, the Supreme Court said it expected a San Francisco-based federal appeals court to move "expeditiously".

Three members of the Supreme Court - Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch - said they would have instead vacated the appeals court decision as moot, presumably because the commission reversed itself past year, after a change in its membership.

In this October 9, 2018 photo, police office guards the main entrance to the Supreme Court in Washington. The policy reversal went into effect in June.

The new rules, which gave internet service providers greater power to regulate the content that customers access, are now the subject of a separate legal fight after being challenged by numerous groups that backed net neutrality. If you watched as the FCC repealed net neutrality using little more than lobbyist fluff and nonsense, it should be fairly obvious to you that wasn't true.

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It also aimed to remove the lower court's verdict from the books so that it couldn't be used as a precedent, something that could prove significant given the ongoing legal actions that challenge the FCC's 2017 repeal of net neutrality.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh were both recused from deciding whether to take up the case.

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 USA states.

Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have granted the industry's request.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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