Supreme Court declines to take up net neutrality challenges

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

The Supreme Court decided on Monday that it will not consider a series of challenges from telecom companies to Obama-era net neutrality rules created to bar internet service providers from manipulating loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

The legal fight over a 2016 lower court ruling upholding former President Barack Obama's net neutrality regulations came to an end on Monday, with the Supreme Court declining to take up the matter.

The Trump administration had warned that it would ask the high court to step in if the appeals court didn't rule by October 31.

The administration is contesting three different district court rulings from judges in California, New York and the District of Columbia that told the administration to continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while litigation over the legality of Trump's action is resolved.

Today, over a year after the petitions seeking review of the D.C. Circuit's decision were filed, a divided Supreme Court simply declined to consider the cases, leaving the D.C. Circuit's decision in place. "But today the Supreme Court refused to do so", Rosenworcel tweeted.

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Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom, an industry trade group, pointed out that the FCC's 2017 ruling overturning net neutrality stands.

The Supreme Court's brief order noted that Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas granted the industry's request to set aside the decision.

The Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in December along party lines to reverse the rules adopted under Obama in 2015 that had barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

The Supreme Court case therefore could not have had any effect upon the now-repealed regulations themselves, but aimed rather to challenge the FCC's authority to pass such regulations at all. They know their repeal of net neutrality was so filled with procedural missteps and outright fraud that they're anxious it will be overturned by next year's net neutrality lawsuits, opening arguments for which begin in February. "But Chief Justice John Roberts also recused himself - presumably (although there is no way to know for sure) because he owns stock in one of the companies challenging the rules".

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