The Supreme Court has ended the court fight over repealed Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that required internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.
The court on Monday rejected appeals from the telecommunications industry seeking to throw out a lower court ruling in favor of the “net neutrality” rules. The Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump has rolled back the rules, but the industry also wanted to wipe the court ruling off the books.
Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have granted the industry’s request. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the case without offering a reason.
Kavanaugh ruled on the issue while an appeals court judge and Roberts has an investment portfolio that includes telecommunications companies.
Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom, an industry trade group, pointed out that the FCC’s 2017 ruling overturning net neutrality stands.
“This decision is not surprising because the D.C. Circuit’s original decision was superseded by the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order that correctly restored broadband as an information service,” he said in a statement.
“RIF remains the law of the land and is essential to an open internet that protects consumers and advances innovation. USTelecom will continue to support that order from challenges in Washington, D.C. and state capitals.”