"This is a close case to begin with, and the DC Circuit is not a good forum for the FCC," said Andrew Schwartzman, a lawyer who is representing three of the groups suing to expand the scope of the rules.
But the FCC vowed to fight for its rules, regardless of the venue.
“The FCC stands ready to defend its open Internet order in any court of appeals,” an FCC spokesman said.
The FCC’s rules prevent Internet service providers from discriminating between two similar content providers by slowing down or speeding up access to their sites. Wireless carriers are banned from blocking lawful websites or applications that compete with their services.
This post was updated at 4:34 p.m.