Supreme Court rejects industry challenge of 2015 net neutrality rules

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

Administration lawyers on Monday filed three separate appeals, each asking the Court to review and overturn the lower court orders that have kept the program intact and urging the Justices to do so without waiting for rulings by federal appeals courts, where those three cases are now under review. "The ISPs went all out to push FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal the agency's Net Neutrality rules - and then ran to the Supreme Court looking for a do-over on earlier cases that rightly upheld those rules".

The appeal was unusual in that the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules have already been repealed under the current administration, following a Commission vote last December in which members voted 3-2 along party lines.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

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who served as acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration, said the Justice Department has shown serious disregard for ordinary judicial process in the DACA case and other disputes in a Monday evening tweet. As a result of the failed case, the previous DC Circuit court ruling made back in 2016 will stand. They give internet service providers greater power to regulate the content that customers access, are now the subject of a separate legal fight after being challenged by numerous groups that backed net neutrality.

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Additional challenges to DACA are winding their way through appeals courts in NY and the District of Columbia following district court rulings against Trump's plan to end the program.

"The administration's repeated and unjustified efforts to subject Dreamers to deportation are nothing but cruel, and there is no justification for circumventing appellate court review", Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for America Progress Action Fund, said in a statement following the filing.

The program is keeping about 700,000 young people from being deported, NPR's Joel Rose notes. "To protect this institution from being implicated in the Trump administration's electoral ploy, the Supreme Court should reject the administration's request". But there were not enough justices for a majority, after Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh recused themselves.

The FCC's reversal reflected the Trump administration's deregulatory philosophy.

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