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 Supreme Court also declined to remove the precedential value of the D.C. Circuit’s 2016 opinion. The FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai repealed its 2015 net neutrality rules but monopoly cable and telephone companies also wanted the 2016 D.C. Circuit decision upholding the rules wiped from the record.
Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser
“The Supreme Court made the right decision in declining to hear the challenge against the 2016 DC Circuit Court ruling that upheld strong FCC net neutrality rules. The D.C. Circuit Court found that the FCC was well within its authority to adopt net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service companies from blocking, throttling, or otherwise degrading traffic. The Supreme Court’s rejection of this appeal ensures the D.C. Circuit’s decision remains in the record as binding precedent for the FCC’s authority to adopt strong net neutrality rules.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is push-back against FCC Chairman Pai’s effort to get rid of net neutrality. Although his majority at the Commission has repealed the net neutrality rules, today’s decision should weaken those who are contesting the now-binding 2016 DC Circuit Court’s decision upholding the rules. Proponents of Pai’s repeal – monopoly phone and cable companies – are on shakier grounds than they thought as they try to dismantle an open internet.”