Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Net Neutrality Challenge

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Net Neutrality Challenge

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to hear a case regarding the legality of Obama-era Net Neutrality rules-putting an end to a lengthy legal battle by declining to hear USTelecom's appeal.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco announced Monday evening that the Department of Justice filed a legal request, known as a writ of certiorari, asking that the Supreme Court take up the case to prevent the issue from remaining unresolved for the coming year. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in one of the cases in May but hasn't yet ruled.

Under Barack Obama's administration, the FCC passed neutrality rules in 2015, effectively allowing it to regulate broadband in a similar way to telephone services. The justices did not add any new cases to their docket for the term - they did that on Friday afternoon - nor did they call for the views of the US solicitor general in any cases.

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.

Scientists reveal mysterious 'Oumuamua' object could be an alien spacecraft
What we do know is the Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere. But until science tells us that it definitely isn't, we'd like to believe that it is.

Though SCOTUS' decision is a win for net neutrality proponents, the Obama-era rules were gutted by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in December 2017. Newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts both recused themselves from the petitions. The policy reversal went into effect in June. If the Supreme Court had accepted the petitions or vacated the lower court rulings, doing so would have strengthened the FCC's repeal.

The administration's attempt to end the program past 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. In his ruling on U.S. Telecom Association, Kavanaugh called net neutrality "unlawful" as the 1934 Communications Act "does not supply clear congressional authorization for the FCC to impose common carrier regulation" on internet service providers (ISPs).

Net neutrality has become a rallying cry for internet activists and those on the political left, who say that if companies are able to "throttle" traffic to and from some sites, then it would ruin the free-flowing nature of the online community.

Like this: