Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Economy | By

Supreme Court Rejects Net Neutrality Case

Supreme Court Rejects Net Neutrality Case

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. Providers complained that the rules were overly burdensome and a violation of the FCC's congressionally granted powers; consumer advocates said the rules were necessary as a vital consumer protection. While the Trump-era FCC has since repealed net neutrality, companies such as AT&T and Verizon brought the appeals court ruling to the Supreme Court along with six other cases, all in the hopes of officially removing the court's decision supporting net neutrality.

Like the case turned away by the Supreme Court a year ago, this one was an appeal of a lower court decision upholding a local sheriff's refusal to issue a permit.

Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have taken up the case and vacated the lower court ruling as moot, presumably because of the Trump administration changes.

That's easily in net neutrality activists' best interest. He also claimed net neutrality "violates the First Amendment".


Chief Justice John Roberts and new Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn't participate in the Supreme Court's action. Meanwhile, Roberts has a financial portfolio that includes investments in Time Warner, according to Bloomberg's Matt Schettenhelm.

Industry trade group USTelecom, one of the groups that challenged the 2015 net neutrality rules, said the high court's action was "not surprising". However, the court's choice reveals how three conservative judges would rule against prior precedent on net neutrality, with Kavanaugh likely following along based on his prior opinion on the matter.

The GOP-led effort to repeal the FCC's net neutrality rules set off a separate round of litigation, as tech companies and consumer groups sued to block the deregulation.

The Supreme Court is refusing a new invitation to rule on gun rights, leaving in place California restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public. 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. "Let's call this interesting".

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