- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice won’t be challenging California’s net neutrality laws.
The DOJ on Monday voluntarily dismissed a suit that was filed in September 2018, almost immediately after then-Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s toughest net neutrality bill into law. SB-822 prevents internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or being anything other than agnostic when it comes to website traffic. The complaint sought to block the law as unconstitutional because it conflicted with the FCC’s repeal of such protections.
The dispute was paused for nearly two years while a D.C. appeals court considered a net neutrality battle between Mozilla and the FCC, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra agreeing not to enforce the law in the meantime. The matter was revived in July after the D.C. Circuit held the FCC overstepped in trying to preempt states from enacting stricter laws regarding net neutrality and the DOJ declined to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Less than a week before Biden’s inauguration, the court pushed back by nearly a month a preliminary injunction hearing that had been set for Jan. 26, citing “the overwhelming caseload in the Eastern District of California and the complexity of the issues involved in the case.” It seems the court saw a potential change in stance coming as it also encouraged the parties to meet and confer after the inauguration to determine “whether the United States of America intends to pursue this case further.”
FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Monday issued this statement in response to the DOJ’s decision: “I am pleased that the Department of Justice has withdrawn this lawsuit. When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day