Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Supreme Court Rejects Net Neutrality Case

Supreme Court Rejects Net Neutrality Case

The Trump administration has requested once again that the Supreme Court rule on the legality of the administration's attempt to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before a lower court rules on 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. President Donald Trump's administration urged the court to take that step, which would have stripped the ruling of any force as a precedent.

By a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court denied petitions brought by AT&T and broadband lobby groups NCTA, CTIA, USTelecom, and the American Cable Association. The Supreme Court also declined to remove the precedential value of the D.C. Circuit's 2016 opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts and new Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh were both recused from the case. The justices did not add any new cases to their docket for the term - they did that on Friday afternoon - nor did they call for the views of the US solicitor general in any cases.

The Trump administration overturned net neutrality regulations a year ago.

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


He said Free Press plans to file a final brief in a new appeal challenging the FCC rollback of the rules under Chairman Pai.

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 previous year, after a change in its membership. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in one of the cases in May but hasn't yet ruled. It actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet policies.

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

The Supreme Court case therefore could not have had any effect upon the now-repealed regulations themselves, but aimed rather to challenge the FCC's authority to pass such regulations at all. The Pai-led FCC is defending its net neutrality repeal against a lawsuit filed by dozens of litigants, including 22 state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies.

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