Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

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

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

The Justice Department appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, but it also asked the Supreme Court to weigh in even before the 9th Circuit ruled - a procedure known as "cert before judgment".

The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not hear challenges to Obama-era net neutrality rules, declining to wade in on an ever-changing internet business landscape.

But, last August, lawyers for the FCC and Department of Justice (at direct telecom industry behest) filed a brief (pdf) with the Supreme Court, urging it to vacate the 2016 court ruling that upheld the Wheeler-era net neutrality rules.

In court papers, Solicitor General Noel Francisco asked the justices to take up the case this term and argued that district judges who had issued opinions against the administration were "wrong" to do so.

"This is the second time the Trump administration has attempted to shortcut the normal appellate process by seeking Supreme Court review prior to any decision by the Courts of Appeals", Davidson said.

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This could give mainland Britain some scope to set trade rules while keeping the province of Northern Ireland aligned with the EU. Meanwhile, a Survation poll of 20,000 people for Channel 4 estimated Remain would win another in/out referendum by 54%-46%.

However, the court's choice reveals how three conservative judges would rule against prior precedent on net neutrality, with Kavanaugh likely following along based on his prior opinion on the matter. 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. "Todays decision is not an indication of the Courts views on the merits but simply reflects the fact that there was nothing left for the Court to rule on". USTelecom said it would "continue to support" the repeal "from challenges in Washington, D.C. and state capitals". In January, Alsup put the phase-out of the program on hold, saying it would be devastating to the 700,000 affected immigrants.

The decision to close it down was made in September last year, but the government decided that it would "phase out" the program after six months - that is, by March 5 of this year - in order to give Congress an opportunity to consider authorizing DACA and making it legal. The Supreme Court also declined to remove the precedential value of the D.C. Circuit's 2016 opinion.

In February, the Court denied the administration's request to step into the fight to end DACA, stating in its order that it believed the lower courts would act expeditiously in resolving the cases.

Although the Supreme Court rarely grants requests to bypass the appeals court stage, the DACA case involves unusual circumstances.

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