US Supreme Court Ends Fight Over Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

A rubber stamp stamping the word

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The rules, which were issued in 2015, have since been replaced by a 2018 order by the Federal Communications Commission eliminating net neutrality, so the justices were not expected to weigh in on the merits of these cases. President Donald Trump's administration urged the court to take that step, which would have stripped the ruling of any force as a precedent. If the Supreme Court had accepted the petitions or vacated the lower court rulings, doing so would have strengthened the FCC's repeal. The Supreme Court also declined to remove the precedential value of the D.C. Circuit's 2016 opinion. Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts recused themselves from the vote. Four of nine justices must agree to hear a case, but only three voted to grant the petitions.

In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the FCC's regulations protecting net neutrality in United States Telecom Association v.

In this case, the decision goes against the Pai/Trump doctrine and bolsters the Wheeler/Obama version of net neutrality. 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. The Supreme Court this week stated it wouldn't be hearing the case (pdf).

Former Somali Refugee At Dadaab Ilhan Omar Elected To US Congress
Like Omar, she blazed a trail through MI politics, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the MI state legislature in 2008. The seat she won is in a predominantly African American congressional district with few Muslim voters.

FILE PHOTO: Chairman Ajit Pai (C) leads a vote on the repeal of so called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2017. After the repeal was finalized earlier this year, the FCC and the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to declare the prior decision "moot" and scrap it. "There was absolutely no reason for the Supreme Court to take this case, and today's denial puts to bed the chances of upending the correct appellate-court decisions".

The legal moves reflected a desire by conservatives and industry players to cement the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, which were created to restrict Internet service providers' ability to manipulate loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

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

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