Justices nix case on net neutrality

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Justices nix case on net neutrality

Three of the Court's justices - Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch - would have voted to take up the case, according to the Court's announcement, and overturn a lower court's decision backing the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which were originally passed in 2015.

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.

"The Supreme Court made the right decision in declining to hear the challenge against the 2016 DC Circuit Court ruling that upheld strong FCC net neutrality rules".

"The Department of Justice should not have been forced to make this filing today - the Ninth Circuit should have acted expeditiously, just as the Supreme Court expected them to do - but we will not hesitate to defend the Constitutional system of checks and balances vigorously and resolutely", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement after the appeals were filed.

The notice also noted that: "Chief Justice and Justice Kavanaugh took no part in the consideration or decision of these petitions".

That court, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, heard arguments in May but hasn't ruled.

That's easily in net neutrality activists' best interest.

Today's Supreme Court decision is good news for supporters of net neutrality because it means that the DC Circuit court's "previous decision upholding both the FCC's classification of broadband as a telecommunications service, and its rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or degrading Internet content, remains in place", senior counsel John Bergmayer of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge said.

FILE PHOTO: Chairman Ajit Pai (C) leads a vote on the repeal of so called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2017. It actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet policies.

The Supreme Court case therefore could not have had any effect upon the now-repealed regulations themselves, but aimed rather to challenge the FCC's authority to pass such regulations at all.

The FCC's repeal of net neutrality is also the subject of separate legal battles, after it was challenged by tech companies and advocacy groups, in addition to more than 20 US states.

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