Supreme Court ends legal fight over Obama-era net neutrality rules

The Trump administration has requested once again that the Supreme Court rule on the legality of the administration's attempt to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before a lower court rules on the matter.

The appeal sought to challenge a lower court ruling that upheld Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain websites, CNBC reported.

Like the case turned away by the Supreme Court past year, this one was an appeal of a lower court decision upholding a local sheriff's refusal to issue a permit.

"The Department of Justice should not have been forced to make this filing today - the Ninth Circuit should have acted expeditiously, just as the Supreme Court expected them to do - but we will not hesitate to defend the Constitutional system of checks and balances vigorously and resolutely", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement after the appeals were filed.

In this October 9, 2018 photo, police office guards the main entrance to the Supreme Court in Washington. Chief Justice John Roberts and new Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh were both recused from the case.

The court did not disclose how individual justices voted in the California case. The fact that the FCC had already voted to repeal net neutrality late previous year made this challenge by the telecom industry a moot point.

Network neutrality forbids providers from creating paid "fast lanes" that offer better service for certain products or users.

Those new regulations are the subject of a separate challenge pending in the appeals court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The high court doesn't typically take cases before federal appeals courts rule on them.

Jessica Rosenworcel, the Federal Communication Commission's only Democratic Commissioner, noted that the FCC had argued that because the Trump-era FCC had repealed the 2015 rules, the 2016 decision was moot and should be wiped from the books. "The ISPs went all out to push FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal the agency's net neutrality rules - and then ran to the Supreme Court looking for a do-over on earlier cases that rightly upheld those rules. Let's call this interesting".

The FCC's repeal of net neutrality is also the subject of separate legal battles, after it was challenged by tech companies and advocacy groups, in addition to more than 20 US states.

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