Net neutrality appeals moving through courts slowly

May 11, 2015 12:57 am
Harry Cole at the Comm Law Blog reports that, though the Federal Communications Commission approved net netutrality in February and published the Report and Order last month, there are challenges from opponents, at the FCC and some U.S. Court of Appeals to be determined. First, petitions for review (filed with the courts) need to be filed by those opposed by June 12, and petitions for reconsideration have to be filed by May 13. As of May 9, Cole reports, the FCC’s ECFS system was not showing any petitions for reconsideration on file. In the courts, a number of appeals have already been filed against net neutrality, all jockeying for different courts. So far the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation pulled the D.C. Circuit ping pong ball out of the Official Lottery Drum, so the court that ruled against previous versions of net neutrality may be hearing the case again. There may be a second drawing, though, after 10 more petitions for review were filed. The FCC believes that the net neutrality appeal will eventually be heard in the D.C. Circuit. Cole writes, "Why would the FCC prefer D.C.? Perhaps because, even though the Commission’s net neutrality efforts did not fare well there the first two times, the FCC’s most recent “Open Internet” effort was ostensibly designed to follow directions implicit in the D.C. Circuit’s last net neutrality decision. The Commission may therefore be figuring that, if it can convince the D.C. Circuit that the FCC’s latest iteration tracks the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon decision closely enough, that may do the trick." So net neutrality remains the law of the land at least until the courts can decide where the lawsuits will play out. Read the full story in the Comm Law Blog.
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