21 State Attorneys General File Lawsuit To Quash Net-Neutrality Repeal

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who leads the effort to overturn the FCC net neutrality repeal.Screengrab/Attorney General Eric Schneiderman/YouTube

So far all attorneys general are Democrats with no Republicans signing on to the effort.

In continued efforts to overturn the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, 21 state attorneys general - all Democratic - filed a joint lawsuit claiming the Commission broke federal law with its actions.

The commission’s rollback of net neutrality rules were “arbitrary and capricious,” the attorneys general said, and a reversal of the agency’s longstanding policy to prevent internet service providers from blocking or charging websites for faster delivery of content to consumers.

New York's Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who led the suit, said ISP's should not have such authority over the internet:

“The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers — allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online."

No lawsuits can be brought officially until the new regulations are entered into the federal registry, which is expected to occur within a the next few weeks.

The states said they could file a petition to the United States Court of Appeals, starting the process to determine which court would hear the case. That is the action the attorneys general, as well as Mozilla and the Open Technology Institute, took on Tuesday.

Other efforts underway to reverse the FCC's decision include lawsuits by Free Press and Public Knowledge, both public interest groups, as well as an attempt by House and Senate Democrats to restore the rules via congressional action.

Success by members of Congress is unlikely, particularly in the House, where Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, would have to agree to bring the resolution to a vote. The president will also have to agree to the resolutions, if they were passed, but the White House has expressed its support of the rollback of net neutrality rules.