The ink was not yet dry on California Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on a bill to restore Obama-era regulations to the internet, when Jefferson Beauregard ‘Stonewall’ Sessions III announced the federal government would be suing to block them.
“Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy. The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.”
California’s law prohibits broadband and wireless companies from blocking, throttling or otherwise hindering access to internet content, and from favoring some websites over others by charging for faster speeds, so you can see why the Third Reich cannot allow that!
And here’s the real deal: as California goes, so goes all the other blue states, and eventually all the states join (think about smog controls on cars). I cannot imagine how an ISP would be able to pinpoint who gets throttled and who does not to avoid screwing Californians, and so ultimately it becomes easier to have a one-size standard.
But what about interstate commerce, you ask?
Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the California bill is on solid legal ground and that California is within its legal rights.
“An agency that has no power to regulate has no power to preempt the states, according to case law. When the FCC repealed the 2015 Open Internet Order, it said it had no power to regulate broadband internet access providers. That means the FCC cannot prevent the states from adopting net neutrality protections because the FCC’s repeal order removed its authority to adopt such protections,” said van Schewick.
We give the last word to Verizon Employee of the Month, Ajit Pai, who shows us how to perform the Triple Salchow of Double-speak:
“I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Department of Justice to ensure the internet remains ‘unfettered by federal or state regulation,’ as federal law requires, and the domain of engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, not lawyers and bureaucrats,” Pai said.