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The U.S. Supreme Court rejected AT&T's appeal to overturn the 2015 net neutrality rules.                  CNET  Marguerite Reardon

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to net neutrality regulations adopted in 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration and upheld by a federal appeals court the next year.

Despite the Supreme Court decision to not hear the case, Republicans remain hopeful that the FCC's vote last December to repeal net neutrality rules will be upheld, though that decision is being challenged before the DC Circuit. Although his majority at the Commission has repealed the net neutrality rules, today's decision should weaken those who are contesting the now-binding 2016 DC Circuit Court's decision upholding the rules.

As a result of the existing high court ruling, ISPs cannot block or throttle web content, nor can they create fast lanes for pay.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSBlog explained that Kavanaugh was "expected to recuse himself from voting on the petitions because he had participated in the cases while on the D.C. Circuit, and he did". In his ruling on U.S. Telecom Association, Kavanaugh called net neutrality "unlawful" as the 1934 Communications Act "does not supply clear congressional authorization for the FCC to impose common carrier regulation" on internet service providers (ISPs).

The Federal Communications Commission voted a year ago to revoke those rules.

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In September 2017, the government announced plans to phase out the program, but lower court judges blocked the administration from doing so and ordered that renewals of protections for recipients continue until the appeals are resolved.

He said Free Press plans to file a final brief in a new appeal challenging the FCC rollback of the rules under Chairman Pai.

Several of the plaintiffs in the case said the rejection wasn't surprising, given that the FCC has already repealed net neutrality.

The FCC's repeal of net neutrality is also the subject of separate legal battles, after it was challenged by tech companies and advocacy groups, in addition to more than 20 US states. Although Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas are said to have favored the appeal, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh are said to have recused themselves from making a determination. They know their repeal of net neutrality was so filled with procedural missteps and outright fraud that they're anxious it will be overturned by next year's net neutrality lawsuits, opening arguments for which begin in February.

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