We’re Suing the FCC. Here’s How It Works. | Free Press

(FREE PRESS) Amy KroinMatt Wood, December 24, 2017 — We’re taking the FCC to court.

We’re not alone: Right after Chairman Ajit Pai and his Republican colleagues voted to destroy Net Neutrality last week, attorneys general from at least nine states plus the District of Columbia indicated their own plans to sue, with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman leading the charge.

The goal: to restore the Net Neutrality rules and their strong foundation in Title II of the Communications Act.

Here are the answers to questions you might be thinking about.

Are the Net Neutrality rules already gone?
They’re still in force, but not for much longer. As soon as the FCC publishes its so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” in the Federal Register and gets final approval for its decision, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be free to block or discriminate against any content, apps and online services they choose.

That includes any political speech they disagree with — a disturbing prospect given how many basic rights are under attack right now.

How soon can you win a legal victory and end this nightmare?
The soonest Free Press can file in court is after the order is published, either by the FCC itself or in that Federal Register. (There are some complicated timing rules that can apply differently to different parts of the FCC’s vote, so that’s why there’s some flexibility.)

Once that publication happens, we’ll file within 10 days — a timeframe set for making a first appearance and starting the process to determine which federal appeals court will hear the case. Wherever and whenever we go, this first filing will just be an initial declaration of our intent to seek a review of the FCC’s actions in that appeals court.

There are likely to be several challenges, or maybe even several dozen, and they could be filed in different courts. Once the challenges all get consolidated into a single case and courtroom, and this procedural phase is over, that’s when there will start to be consideration of the merits — or rather, the lack thereof — in what the FCC did.