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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.”

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voted to create its own statute after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under former President Trump repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules. 

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel 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.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) last month led a group of her colleagues in a letter urging Biden’s pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, 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. 

Tags Anna Eshoo California Donald Trump Jessica Rosenworcel Merrick Garland Net neutrality Net neutrality in the United States

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