Supreme Court rejects net neutrality appeal

Jeannie Matthews
November 8, 2018

President Donald Trump's administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to allow it to end a program introduced by former President Barack Obama that protects thousands of young immigrants who live in the United States without legal status.

The appeal was unusual in that the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules have already been repealed under the current administration, following a Commission vote last December in which members voted 3-2 along party lines.

In September 2017, the government announced plans to phase out the program, but lower court judges blocked the administration from doing so and ordered that renewals of protections for recipients continue until the appeals are resolved.

In its landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to bear arms for self-defense in the home. 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.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSBlog explained that Kavanaugh was "expected to recuse himself from voting on the petitions because he had participated in the cases while on the D.C. Circuit, and he did".

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Network neutrality forbids providers from creating paid "fast lanes" that offer better service for certain products or users. They have not been in effect since June.

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a closely watched case over the future of the internet - rejecting a petition by telecom industry groups to consider net neutrality, or the principle that internet providers should treat all online content equally.

Although the Supreme Court rarely grants requests to bypass the appeals court stage, the DACA case involves unusual circumstances.

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. "Let's call this interesting". The Pai-led FCC is defending its net neutrality repeal against a lawsuit filed by dozens of litigants, including 22 state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies.

"This decision is not surprising because the D.C. Circuit's original decision was superseded by the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order that correctly restored broadband as an information service", Jonathan Spalter, the CEO of USTelecom, said in a statement.

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