Ex-FCC counselor says Mozilla suit could lead to reinstatement of Obama-era net neutrality rules

A former counselor to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman under President Obama told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Monday that a court case challenging the FCC's decision under President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE to repeal its net neutrality rules could result in the reinstatement of the former rules. 

"If this prevails in the court, yes, the 2015 rules should come back," Gigi Sohn, a Benton senior fellow and public advocate, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti, referring to a case that is challenging the decision to end the Obama-era rules. 

"The court can do many different things to resolve this. They could send it back to the FCC, and say look, you didn't give it an adequate enough rationale for what you did, go back and try again," she continued. 

"Or it could say, look, you completely screwed up, we're just going to vacate what you did, eliminate what you did, and then the 2015 rules would come back," she said. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments on Friday from both sides of a lawsuit brought against the FCC by 22 state attorneys general, as well as consumer advocates and internet companies, including Mozilla. 

The legal battle is on the question of whether the FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai, overstepped its authority in its move last year to reclassify internet service providers and in blocking states from substituting their own net neutrality rules, and whether it followed administrative procedure law in carrying out the order.

The court is expected to come out with a decision as early as this summer. 

— Julia Manchester