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Biden administration drops lawsuit against California's net neutrality law

Biden administration drops lawsuit against California's net neutrality law
© Greg Nash

The Biden administration dropped the Trump administration’s legal challenge to California’s net neutrality statute on Monday, according to a court filing. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) formally dismissed the lawsuit the Trump administration had brought against the law in 2018, shortly after it was signed into law by then-California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). 

The Trump administration had argued the law was “unlawful and anti-consumer” since it goes against the federal governments “deregulatory approach to the Internet."

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The state legislation bars internet service providers from slowing down website speeds, blocking access to certain websites and charging for large websites. 

California’s legislature voted to create its own statute after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules. 

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica RosenworcelJessica RosenworcelDemocrats' letter targeting Fox, Newsmax for misinformation sparks clash during hearing Federal judge rules California can enforce its net neutrality law Hillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV 'misinformation rumor mills' MORE said she is “pleased” the DOJ withdrew from the Trump-era lawsuit. 

“When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. 

Democrats had been pushing for the Biden administration to pull back from the lawsuit.

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Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds Democrats' letter targeting Fox, Newsmax for misinformation sparks clash during hearing West Virginia AG urges news providers to resist calls to 'censor' programming MORE (D-Calif.) last month led a group of her colleagues in a letter urging Biden's pick for attorney general, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan McConnell backs Garland for attorney general Biden can redeem checkered past and regenerate hope for millions with criminal justice reform MORE, to dismiss the case. 

The law is still being challenged in the same court in a case brought by telecommunications industry trade groups.

A hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for later this month.