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US Ninth Circuit to Hear Challenges to FCC Net Neutrality Order

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Mar 9, 2018, 8:33 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court, based in San Francisco, will hear legal challenges to the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The Ninth Circuit was chosen at random by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict litigation. Three-quarters of the Ninth's 24 active judges were appointed by Democratic presidents, with the remaining six appointed by Republican President George W. Bush. The Republican-led FCC's net neutrality reversal has been hit by legal challenges from every angle. For example, 22 state attorneys general have filed grievances, as have public interest groups, internet-based companies, and others. The states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are all challenging the FCC, alleging that the agency disregarded "critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses." Several states have said they'll enact net neutrality laws of their own to offset the FCC. In December, the FCC voted 3-2 down party lines to strike down net neutrality and published the rules in the Federal Register on February 22. The change legally goes into effect April 23. It's not clear yet if or how the legal challenges will impact the rollout of the law.

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