Thursday, 15 November, 2018


Supreme Court refuses anti-net neutrality appeals

AFP  Getty Images AFP Getty Images
Melba Vasquez | 08 November, 2018, 21:28

Today, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the telecommunications industry seeking to vacate the D.C. Circuit's 2016 decision to uphold the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules.

The GOP-led effort to repeal the FCC's net neutrality rules set off a separate round of litigation, as tech companies and consumer groups sued to block the deregulation.

On the merits of the dispute, the Trump administration contends that its decision to terminate DACA can not be reviewed in court, since the program exists entirely at the executive branch's discretion. The Supreme Court essentially found that the rollback rendered any appeals moot. The program protects more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation and enables them to get work permits since being implemented by the Obama administration.

Because none of those appeals courts has yet ruled, the Administration decided last month that it could not wait for that to happen because, it concluded, time was running out for the Supreme Court to review and decide during the current term the legality of the shutdown plan.

AT&T and other telecoms had asked the high court to void the ruling; the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality previous year.

In this case, there were no less than seven petitions - each sent by a different arm of the cable industry - asking the Supreme Court to review a decision by the Washington DC Court of Appeals that said the Obama-era rules were legal. But the justices refused to hear the appeals, leaving the lower court ruling in place.

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.

"Absent prompt intervention from this court, there is little chance the court would resolve this dispute for at least another year", Francisco said.

DACA does not provide a path to US citizenship but does allow those accepted into the program to get renewable two-year permits to remain in the country, to go to school, to work and to share in some federal benefit programs. The Supreme Court's arguments calendar usually fills up by mid-January, so, unless the ninth circuit issues an expedited ruling, it's unlikely the administration would have the opportunity to challenge the ruling before the High Court before next year.

It takes four of the nine justices to agree to hear a case.

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