Supreme Court rejects net neutrality appeal

Kenny Grant
November 8, 2018

The Supreme Court rejected requests by the broadband industry and the Trump administration to vacate a lower court's 2017 decision that upheld the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which prohibited broadband providers from blocking or throttling traffic and from charging higher fees for prioritized delivery.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, shielding them from deportation and letting them seek work permits.

As a result, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stands. The administration told the appeals court last month that if it didn't rule by October 31, the government would go directly to the Supreme Court to seek resolution during the current nine-month term. "Todays decision is not an indication of the Courts views on the merits but simply reflects the fact that there was nothing left for the Court to rule on". The Supreme Court this week stated it wouldn't be hearing the case (pdf).

It takes four of the nine justices to agree to hear a case.

"Absent prompt intervention from this court, there is little chance the court would resolve this dispute for at least another year", Francisco wrote in a letter to the Supreme Court.

The administration's attempt to end the program a year ago was rejected by multiple federal courts and the Department of Homeland Security was ordered to continue accepting renewal applications while the case is adjudicated.

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

The issue of net neutrality continues to play out in court.

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 Justice Department also has filed suit to block California's state net neutrality law from taking effect in January. 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.

Two conservative justices - Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh - "took no part in the consideration or decision of these petitions", the court announced.

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