The leader of the alliance, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said in an announcement that the Federal Communication Commission order, announced in the federal registry earlier Thursday, would allow broadband providers to “put corporate profits over customers” by way of managing what they “see, do and say online.”
“An open internet and the free interchange of ideas it allows is critical to our constitutional process,” said Schneiderman.
In mid-December, the FCC’s Republican majority decided in favor of the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order, which reversed the commission’s net neutrality rules barring internet service providers from preventing or throttling content or creating “fast lanes” to render better service for organizations that pay for it. It further rolled back the order of ISPs that provided the basis for the rules, which passed in 2015 under a Democratic majority.
The coalition’s filing refers to the FCC’s order as “absolute” and “capricious” and challenges the agency’s ability to reclassify broadband without review under Administrative Procedures Act; it contends the order devastations federal law, “including, but not restricted to,” the US Constitution and the Communications Act of 1934; and further claims that the order was promulgated in violation of agency rulemaking specifications.
The petition was cosigned by lawyers general in the following states: New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Mississippi, as well as New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The suit or petition for investigation was filed by the coalition’s legal partners before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, where the government interest group Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute filed protective filings, likewise disputing the order, last month. It is not yet known in which court the case will be regularly heard, however.
Free Press, a net neutrality advocacy group, filed its appeal in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts last month and announce plans Thursday to refile soon. California’s Santa Clara County previously filed a petition in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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