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US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals challenging Obama-era net neutrality rules

Team SoOLEGAL 6 Nov 2018 3:26pm

US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals challenging Obama-era net neutrality rules

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a request by the Trump administration and the telecom companies’ to quash the 2016 federal appeals court decision that upheld the Obama-era “net neutrality rules”. However, the justices’ decision does not undo the 2017 repeal of the policy.

Obama’s net neutrality rules aimed at safeguarding equal access to content on the internet were opposed by President Donald Trump, a Republican.

A divided high court turned down and instead simply refused to hear the long-pending appeals in the matter, leaving the 2016 ruling in place.

While passing the order in the matter, three conservative justices of the Supreme Court – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch – said they would have thrown out the appeals court decision and ordered the underlying case dismissed. However, Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump’s new appointee Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn’t participate in the Supreme Court's decision.

The Trump administration and the broadband industry had wanted to wipe away the 2016 ruling even though the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December repealed the net neutrality rules.

The FCC itself was in favor of getting the decision cancelled that upheld its 2015-era rules, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the commission who backed the net neutrality order in 2015.

It wasn’t enough for this FCC to roll back Net Neutrality, and the commission actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet policies. But today the Supreme Court refused to do so,” Rosenworcel said in a tweet.


Last year, the FCC had voted 3-2 along party lines to overturn the rules adopted under Obama that had barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

The new rules, which empowered Internet Service Providers (ISP) the ability to regulate the content that customers access, are now the subject of a separate legal fight after being challenged by many of the groups that supported net neutrality.

Tagged: Obama Era Net Neutrality Rules   Net Neutrality   Trump Administration   Telecom Industry   Federal Communications Commission   FCC   US Supreme Court  
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