The first lawsuits have been filed to revoke the withdrawal of the Federal Communications Commission from the net neutrality rules of the Obama era.
Attorneys general of 22 states filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block the repeal of the rules. Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser, also said he has filed a lawsuit against the FCC, and several public interest groups have filed petitions with the courts.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman leads the charge among the states, calling on the FCC to repeal "arbitrary and capricious," according to a press release announcing the lawsuit. The lawsuit also states that the FCC "improperly and illegally includes state and local laws."
"The derogation of net neutrality would make Internet service providers guardians, allowing them to put benefits on consumers while controlling what we see, what we do and what we say online," Schneiderman said in a statement. release.
The lawsuits and claims, which were filed in the US District Court of Appeals. UU in Washington, they are the first to come forward in defense of the 2015 rules, which were designed to ensure that broadband companies can not block or slow internet access and can not charge companies a fee to reach customers faster . Thesaying that the regulation adopted had suppressed investment in broadband networks.
No lawsuits were expected to challenge the FCC's move until after the order was published in the Federal Register, which has not yet happened. But the parties who filed the lawsuits said it is not clear under federal law if their petitions must be filed sooner. To be sure, they started presenting their cases today.
"The FCC decision made it clear that the lawsuits must be filed 10 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred," Denelle Dixon, Mozilla's chief legal officer and business official, said in a blog post "However, the federal law is more ambiguous."
It is important that groups that sue the FCC request that their claims be filed as soon as they are allowed, as it could determine which federal appeals court knows the case. It is expected that there will be several lawsuits challenging the movement of the FCC. Because these cases are likely to be consolidated, a lottery will be held to determine where the challenge will be heard. Advocates of network neutrality would like the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case because there have been legal challenges before the FCC's net neutrality rules. And sincewhen challenged by AT & T and other industry groups, supporters of net neutrality believe that this court will be more favorable to their arguments.
John Bergmayer, principal lawyer of Public Knowledge, explained that the presentation of his group is purely procedural for this reason.
"In the past, the judicial lottery, which determines which appeals court will hear a challenge to an FCC action, has been carried out on the basis of premature petitions," it said in a statement. "Therefore, to protect our rights, we have presented today."
Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate are also mounting their own attack because of the FCC's repeal. On Monday, the Democratic leadership announced that it had 50 votes aligned to vote on a bill that would repeal the FCC's repeal. They have won Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, but the effort may be futile, even if they can gather one more Republican to cross party lines and vote with them. The measure would also have to be approved by the House of Representatives controlled by the Republicans and signed by President Donald Trump.
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