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News to watch: Net Neutrality oral arguments on December 4

FCC Building in Washington, D.C.
FCC Building in Washington, D.C.

In what has become something of a well-traveled rut, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be back at the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit on Friday, December 4, to make its case on behalf of the Open Internet. The FCC will defend the Order it approved in February, which the ALA and a host of library and higher education organizations advocated for, along with other network neutrality allies.

Most recently, the ALA, Association of College & Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies took this advocacy to the court with an amicus brief in United States Telecom Association, et al., v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America.

For those looking for a preview of coming attractions, here are a few of the articles we’ve been reading:

Judge holds fate of net neutrality rules
The Hill, 11/28/15
“A major court decision that will determine the fate of new Internet regulations could be written by the same judge who struck down earlier rules only a year ago. In what the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit calls random chance, Judge David Tatel will be one of three judges slated to hear oral arguments Dec. 4 in a case challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s strongest net neutrality rules ever.”

Net neutrality, again? Why debate on Internet’s fate returns to court Dec. 4
International Business Times, 11/28/15
“There are several questions the three judges can debate, such as whether Internet service providers (ISPs) have “First Amendment” rights, if those rights have been violated and if the providers were not given enough time to meet these new demands. Yet, one issue could take center stage: whether what the FCC proposed and later adopted was within its legal jurisdiction.”

These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet in their hands
Washington Post, 11/24/15
“Three judges from the D.C. Circuit have been named to hear the oral argument on Dec. 4. Much like the Supreme Court, the very makeup of this panel could subtly shape the course of events. What do we know about the judges? Are they familiar with the issues? How might they vote? Below, get briefly acquainted with each one ahead of the big day.”

For more real-time news and opinions, check out #NetNeutrality and #openInternet. Recordings of oral arguments from the D.C. Circuit are shared here, and stay tuned here at the District Dispatch for more reactions and analysis next week.

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Larra Clark

Larra Clark is the deputy director of both the Public Library Association and Washington Office’s public policy team. Larra received her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Arizona and has a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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