Supreme Court rejects industry challenge of 2015 net neutrality rules

Supreme Court rejects industry challenge of 2015 net neutrality rules

The Supreme Court said it wouldn't hear arguments in a challenge to the Obama era net neutrality rules that the FCC adopted in 2015 and which was upheld by lower federal courts. Although Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas are said to have favored the appeal, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh are said to have recused themselves from making a determination.

Obama's rules, meant to safeguard equal access to content on the internet, were opposed by Trump, a Republican.

The Supreme Court's decision does not reverse nor reject the FCC's ruling to repeal net neutrality. At the time, the justices added what seemed to be a caveat to their ruling, writing that although they were turning down the government's application, it "is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case". 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. That suit, which is also pending before the D.C. Circuit, is quickly becoming the center of the legal battle over net neutrality now, with the Supreme Court deciding not to hear its net neutrality case.

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.

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Federal judges in NY and Washington have also ruled against the Trump administration.

"Today's decision is not an indication of the Court's views on the merits but simply reflects the fact that there was nothing left for the Court to rule on", the Internet and Television Association said.

The appeal sought to challenge a lower court ruling that upheld Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain websites, CNBC reported.

Requests like this-for the Court to review a matter before the appellate courts have issued their own rulings-are rarely granted, but that hasn't stopped Francisco from filing such requests on more than one occasion. The telecommunication industry group originally sued the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) under the belief that the FCC lacked the authority to impose public-utility, common-carrier obligations on broadband internet access service. It was opposed by internet companies like Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc, which have said the repeal could lead to higher costs.

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