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A net neutrality supporter last month. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Lawsuits looking to strike down the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of its own net neutrality rules will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the court said Thursday.

Unless they don't. Some or all of the plaintiffs could push to move the arguments to the D.C. Circuit, where the case against the net neutrality rules was litigated.

Why it matters: The Ninth Circuit is on the West Coast, in the backyard of Silicon Valley net neutrality activists.

The lottery to decide the location of the court arguments was the result of lawsuits filed against the FCC in different jurisdictions, including by:

  • Attorneys General from more than 20 states, led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman.
  • Advocacy groups Public Knowledge, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Free Press, the Benton Foundation and the Open Technology Institute.
  • Internet companies Vimeo, Etsy, Expa, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Automattic and Shutterstock as well as telecom firm NTCH.
  • California's Public Utility Commission and Santa Clara County, which both filed in the Ninth Circuit.

Meanwhile, in Washington state the Democratic governor recently signed net neutrality rules into law. Other states are pursuing their own legislation.

  • Per AP: "Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures."

Congressional Democrats are leading an effort to pass a resolution that rolls back the FCC's repeal. They're able to force a vote in the Senate, but don't yet have enough votes for it to pass.

Congressional Republicans are pushing their own net neutrality legislation, but none has yet secured the public support of Democrats.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.