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21 states are suing the FCC over net neutrality

The legal fight continues.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Jan 16, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 4:32 am CDT

Several states have sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its decision to repeal net neutrality rules late last year, as momentum to overturn the decision in Congress continues to grow.

The decision was announced Tuesday shortly after Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) said 82 fellow representatives have signed onto a Congressional Review Act bill that mirrors a similar bill in the Senate to try and overturn the FCC’s decision.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said a lawsuit was filed by 22 states’ attorneys general over the decision, which was voted down party lines in December.

“A free and open internet drives innovation, economic growth, and consumer choice,” Becerra said in a statement. “As home to countless start-ups and technology giants alike, California knows this better than anywhere else. We will do everything we can to defend our vibrant Internet economy and consumer choice from the FCC’s attempt to curtail net neutrality.”

Attorneys general from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia joined Becerra in the lawsuit.

“An open internet–and the free exchange of ideas it allows–is critical to our democratic process,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers—allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online.

The FCC voted 3 to 2 to repeal net neutrality rules, which ensured that all internet traffic be treated equally by internet service providers.

Earlier in the day, Doyle announced that a large number of representatives had asked to co-sponsor legislation to reject the FCC’s net neutrality decision. The Senate said its resolution of disapproval through the Congressional Review Act had 50 signatures–just one vote shy of passing it.

Doyle’s bill, which will also need a majority to pass, has 82 co-sponsors. It would 218 total votes to pass in the House of Representatives.

“We’ve made good progress so far in getting members to sign on as original cosponsors of our bill to restore net neutrality, and I will continue to seek additional cosponsors in the weeks ahead,” Doyle said in a statement. “There’s overwhelming public support for preserving net neutrality, so it’s no surprise that there’s strong support in Congress as well. I’m confident that if there’s enough public pressure, Congress will overturn the FCC’s order killing net neutrality.”

If both the Senate and House pass their resolutions of disapproval, President Donald Trump would need to sign it into law before the FCC’s decision could be overturned.

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2018, 3:55 pm CST