The Supreme Court won't take up net neutrality - this time

Marcus Newton
November 8, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a group of long-pending appeals from the broadband industry over the Obama-era "net neutrality" rule, which barred internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to some web traffic.

The Trump administration had warned that it would ask the high court to step in if the appeals court didn't rule by October 31.

Kavanaugh ruled on the issue while an appeals court judge and Roberts has an investment portfolio that includes telecommunications companies.

A divided high court refused and instead simply rejected the appeals, leaving the 2016 ruling in place.

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.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh were both recused from deciding whether to take up the case.

With those justices removing themselves from the process, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were outnumbered.

It takes four of the nine justices to agree to hear a case.

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Network neutrality forbids providers from creating paid "fast lanes" that offer better service for certain products or users.

"Much of the current FCC's argument [against net neutrality] depends on ignoring or contradicting the DC Circuit's earlier findings, but now that these are firmly established as binding law, the Pai FCC's case is on even weaker ground than before", Bergmayer said.

The administration's attempt to end the program previous year was rejected by multiple federal courts and the Department of Homeland Security was ordered to continue accepting renewal applications while the case is adjudicated.

The FCC itself also was in favor of voiding the decision that upheld its 2015-era rules, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the commission.

Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom, an industry trade group, pointed out that the FCC's 2017 ruling overturning net neutrality stands.

Several of the plaintiffs in the case said the rejection wasn't surprising, given that the FCC has already repealed net neutrality. "Let's call this interesting".

California has voted in new net neutrality laws, but the Department of Justice has taken legal action to prevent them from coming into effect in January.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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