Feb 22, 2018

Net neutrality supporters sue to stop FCC's repeal

Net neutrality protestors. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first lawsuits challenging the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules were filed Thursday, kicking off the next battle over how internet service providers handle the web traffic coursing through their networks.

Why now? The FCC's repeal was finally published in the Federal Register Thursday, which opened the floodgates to lawsuits and started the clock on a congressional effort to undo the FCC's decision.

What's happening in court:

  • A wide range of companies, state attorneys general and advocacy groups are trying to reverse the repeal. Mozilla, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute, Vimeo and a group of state attorneys general were among those who filed suit Thursday.
  • Internet Association, which represents Facebook, Google, Snap, Microsoft and others, says it plans to intervene on their behalf in the courts.

What's happening in Congress:

A resolution to roll back the repeal and re-instate net neutrality rules is one lawmaker shy of having the support it needs to pass the Senate when Democrats force a vote on it later this year.

  • That measure is unlikely, however, to pass in the House or be signed by President Trump. Congress has 60 legislative days to take action on the issue — and activists are pushing lawmakers they think might be on the fence to support the measure.
  • "The FCC and Chairman [Ajit] Pai just triggered a timeline that will culminate in a Senate vote on my resolution, and we cannot let up until we win," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is leading the resolution.
  • At a press conference on Thursday, Pai declined to comment on the agency’s plan for dealing with the legislation.

What's happening in the states:

  • Some state lawmakers are also trying to pass their own net neutrality rules, crossing into murky legal territory because the FCC has said its repeal pre-empts state law.
  • Governors have also issued orders saying that internet service providers that do business with their states have to comply with net neutrality principles.

What’s next?: The repeal is expected to take full effect later this year, after the Office of Management and Budget reviews part of the proposal.

Go deeper

In photos: Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities warned Americans to take precautions against the coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches during the Memorial Day weekend, some three months after the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.

The big picture: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.