Supreme Court Won't Review Decision That OK'd Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

Yolanda Curtis
November 8, 2018

The three connected appeals filed Monday challenge federal trial court decisions that are blocking Trump from abolishing the program, started by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

The justices rejected that request on February 26, but asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly process the case so it could return to the high court in a reasonable timeframe.

But even as the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the appeal, the FCC under Republican chairman Ajit Pai moved to rescind those very rules.


Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who had supported the 2015 Net Neutrality regulations, said, "it wasn't enough for this FCC to roll back It actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet policies".

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh recused themselves from the case.

Lyle Denniston has been writing about the Supreme Court since 1958. Neither gave a reason, but Kavanaugh played a role in the case on the appeals court, saying he would have overturned the net neutrality rule. The Justice Department has also agreed to suspend its recent suit against California over the state's new net neutrality law, at least until the case before the D.C. Circuit is resolved.


"The district court's order requires the government to indefinitely tolerate - and, indeed, affirmative sanction - an ongoing violation of federal law being committed by almost 700,000 aliens pursuant to the DACA policy", the Justice Department said.

The Supreme Court has ended the court fight over repealed Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that required internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. Four of nine justices must agree to hear a case, but only three voted to grant the petitions.

"The administration's repeated and unjustified efforts to subject Dreamers to deportation are nothing but cruel, and there is no justification for circumventing appellate court review", Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for America Progress Action Fund, said in a statement following the filing. The Trump administration is seeking to convince the Supreme Court to consolodate those cases because they make the same substantive objections to the planned DACA recession, and toss them all out on the merits. The Supreme Court's arguments calendar usually fills up by mid-January, so, unless the ninth circuit issues an expedited ruling, it's unlikely the administration would have the opportunity to challenge the ruling before the High Court before next year.


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