President Biden’s Justice Department on Monday withdrew a 2018 lawsuit challenging California’s net neutrality law, giving a victory to state legislators and liberal internet activists.
In 2018, under former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department tried to stop California from prohibiting internet providers from blocking content, throttling speeds, or offering paid fast lanes — the three core tenets of net neutrality.
California’s state Legislature in 2018 voted to create its own net neutrality law after former Republican Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in 2017, repealed the Obama-era federal net neutrality rules.
The Trump administration argued that the California law was “unlawful and anti-consumer” since it opposed the federal government’s “deregulatory approach to the Internet.”
The current acting FCC chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who opposed the FCC repeal of net neutrality rules in 2017, said she’s “pleased” the Justice Department withdrew the California 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,” Rosenworcel said in a statement Monday.
“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,” she added.
Liberals are currently pressuring Democrats, newly in power, to pass net neutrality legislation, push for state-level internet regulations, and reinstate the Obama-era rules — the last of which they say is only a matter of time.
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