Government Asks Supreme Court To Vacate Net Neutrality Ruling

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court of the United States to vacate a 2016 ruling upholding the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 order establishing the principles of net neutrality. The original ruling was made by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals but dealt with a legal interpretation framework that has been repealed by the Republican assembly of the FCC earlier this year as part of a controversial move that sparked a broad range of protests across the country and is still facing public resistance.

The request for the 2016 ruling to be made vacant was filed by the FCC and the Department of Justice on Friday, with the federal regulators arguing the case is moot and must be removed from the judicial record so as to not affect future litigation related to the Communications Act of 1934 and how the thereof may be used for handling broadband Internet access classification in the future. The FCC's 2015 order was met with heavy criticism from the telecom industry as it established net neutrality by classifying Internet service providers as utility companies, consequently preventing them from selling prioritized access to certain websites to customers or demanding payments from websites and owners of online platforms in exchange for not throttling their offerings.

While a number of stateside legislators are presently pushing for a federal intervention and want to codify the principles of the open Internet into law and some telecom giants such as AT&T are even supportive of the endeavor, the broadband and wireless industry is still firmly opposing any possibility of paid prioritization being outlawed, which advocacy groups and net neutrality supporters argue is just a differently presented way of the same censorship practices. The Trump administration now wants the Supreme Court to determine whether the recently revoked 2015 order was illegal or unconstitutional by exceeding the agency's authority, failing to be enacted with sufficient public notice, or even violating the First Amendment.

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