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Implications of Court Ruling Net Neutrality Appeal Premature
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2011-04-04 16:26
On a technicality, the DC Court of Appeals ruled that Verizon's January appeal of the FCC's December Open Internet order was filed prematurely, meaning Verizon must wait for the FCC to officially post it in the Federal Register, before it can re-appeal.
While technically unsuccessful in accelerating their appeal, Verizon was very successful in establishing early how legally vulnerable the FCC decision will be on the merits, in whatever appeals court ultimately hear the case, (which still could be the DC Circuit where the FCC lost in Comcast vs. FCC, albeit with a different panel.)
Moreover, this technicality does nothing to change how politically controversial the FCC's Open Internet Order is.
In sum, opposing sides are already in a rugby scrum waiting for the FCC to throw the legal appeal back in play. When they do, there will be a rush for Verizon and other opponents to re-file their appeal in the DC Circuit, which is the normal Appeals Court for FCC decisions, and for FCC supporters to try and appeal where they hope to get an appeals court panel sympathetic to giving the FCC the benefit of the doubt.
Regardless, two things are quite clear: