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Verizon Net Neutrality Case Rejected 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the sit-down-and-shut-up dept.
Back in January, we discussed news that Verizon had filed an appeal to the FCC's net neutrality rules, saying the regulatory agency did not have the legal authority to enforce the mandate. Now, reader olsmeister follows up with this quote from PC World: "An appeals court Monday dismissed Verizon's challenge of the US Federal Communications Commission's December net neutrality ruling, calling it premature. A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia noted in its decision that the FCC's net neutrality order is a rule-making document subject to judicial review once it is published in the Federal Register. The panel said that the appeal's 'prematurity is incurable.'"
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Verizon Net Neutrality Case Rejected

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  • Super pre-mature (Score:4, Informative)

    by proverbialcow (177020) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:28AM (#35716946) Journal
    ...considering that even if it were published, and passed judicial review, the House passed an amendment to a spending bill [slashdot.org] that would bar any funding to enforcement.
    • Re:Super pre-mature (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yeshuawatso (1774190) * on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:49AM (#35717028) Journal

      Amazing how Congress will avoid paying for laws that protect consumers and are more than willing to pay for ANY other law that protects the interests of the top 5%. Even more crazy, most of the voters don't care and will vote the same jagoffs back into Congress every time until they're unemployed and can't find work due to lack of education and/or skills, and want someone to blame for their incompetence for voting the very person who gave more precedent to the Fortune 100 than to our public education system.

      I'm glad to see Verizon get the cold shoulder, but we know this isn't going to last long. Face it, net neutrality is a pipe dream for those who are technically competent enough to understand but are far outnumbered by the voters who don't understand it, nor do they want to.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        It's amazing how a regulation change that is designed to side step a court ruling denying the right to regulate a certain thing that was made without congressional oversight is somehow now being considered a law buy people who had a lot more bitching to do.

        It sort of makes you wonder if you should actually care about what they say when they confuse a regulation with a law, blame congress when the only input congress had was defending the acts of the agency, then go off on a tirade about whatever else they s

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by yeshuawatso (1774190) *

          Doesn't change the fact that ISPs are acting like assholes. I understand that they have a fiduciary duty of care to protect their ongoing business affairs and their shareholders, but that doesn't change the fact that they're granted a NATURAL MONOPOLY just to screw over the consumer. If they want their cake and eat it to, then I think Congress needs to get back in session and force the carriers to carry CLECs again at a fixed rate, but this time over copper, fiber, COAX, and any other technology that they'r

          • Here, here... just one tiny nitpick:

            Constitutionally, they have the power to regulate interstate commerce. A bit flying all over the globe is definitely in that scope, and if a law doesn't exist as a statute, the Federal regulatory agencies do have the power to create Federal regulations to be followed, and all persons, natural or not, have the right to challenge those regulations in the court of law. But non-natural persons should NOT have the right to influence the law when they don't have the right to VO

            • No, I meant Congress has the right to regulate interstate commerce as stated by the Constitution; but, you are correct that I could have been a little more clear.

          • by phlinn (819946)
            A bit flying around the globe is not automatically commerce. It may be speech, at which point congress explicitly doesn't have the authority to regulate it. They have the authority to regulate companies which sell bandwidth across states. It's not clear that they have actual authority (legally, wickard vs filburn gives them pretty solid cover) to regulate a company which sells a connection to a consumer and connects them to a backbone provider.
            • The second that bit crossed a State line interstate commerce has been defined. If I'm providing a backbone that spans across a state line that is sold to an ISP that connects consumers directly to my backbone, interstate commerce is still being carried out.

          • by cdrguru (88047)

            The first go-round with the CLEC's mandated a fixed price that was below cost to the ILEC. This was a huge problem for them and put them up against a wall in a manner that they had to fight. So of course, they fought and eventually won. In the meantime, they made life as difficult as possible because anytime you put that sort of pressure on a business they are either going to fight or fold.

            We can be grateful in some small way that they didn't just fold. However, this clearly led to things like the SBC t

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Doesn't change the fact that ISPs are acting like assholes. I understand that they have a fiduciary duty of care to protect their ongoing business affairs and their shareholders, but that doesn't change the fact that they're granted a NATURAL MONOPOLY just to screw over the consumer. If they want their cake and eat it to, then I think Congress needs to get back in session and force the carriers to carry CLECs again at a fixed rate, but this time over copper, fiber, COAX, and any other technology that they'

            • All well, thought out, responses and my participation has disallowed me to add a +1 for Insightful (no option for touché ). But we're going to have to agree to disagree in regards to a corporation having the right to shape our laws.

              Collective bargaining only works when there is an equal playing field. In terms of the Fortune 100, there isn't an equal playing field for Corporation vs Consumer, as corporations have all rights of the consumer PLUS more rights for operating as a business. The ONLY right a

              • by sumdumass (711423)

                My point about the Unions was not whether they are needed or not. It was about the concept that makes them up, a single entity speaks for the members under them. It's inseparable from the concept of a corporation and political speech.

                And Unions or collective bargaining have a better then level playing field. They are exempt from collaboration and anti trust laws.

        • by volpe (58112)

          I'm still trying to figure out how "Habeas Corpus" and "fair trials", got lumped into the same group as "indefinite detention, free speech zones, [and] seizures of property without warrant or compensation".

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            I was just throwing things out there that has hit nerved over the last decade or two. There's no relation outside of with one, the others might not be possible so they might be something of the same thing. But it wasn't intentional.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        The problem is that all you really have a choice between is "jagoff A" or "jagoff B"

        • by mldi (1598123)

          The problem is that all you really have a choice between is "jagoff A" or "jagoff B"

          False. Well, until reality slaps you in the face.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Amazing how Congress will avoid paying for laws that protect consumers and are more than willing to pay for ANY other law that protects the interests of the top 5%.

        Actually, given the state of the US political system, I would be more surprised if it were the other way around.

        Also interesting reading - economist Joe Stiglitz on Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% [vanityfair.com] about exactly how untenable the situation really is.

      • Face it, net neutrality is a pipe dream for those who are technically competent enough to understand but are far outnumbered by the voters who don't understand it

        Do YOU understand that the Internet currently works on a principle of a neutral network and what's being argued over is network neutrality REGULATION?

        NN is not a pipedream. It's the de facto standard that makes the foundation of the Internet. Since there's been major consolidation in the ISP industry it may be a good idea to enforce NN if the consumers don't have enough power to direct the market themselves. But anyone who says network neutrality is a bad thing isn't knowledgeable on the issue, or has s

      • by LibRT (1966204)
        I'm always surprised by the use of the term "net neutrality" as a synonym for "net regulation", which is what we're really talking about here.

        I appreciate that bandwidth throttling, or the prospect of a "two-tiered" net, are disturbing propositions (or in the case of bandwidth throttling, a reality). I'm simply not convinced that governmental involvement will make things better rather than worse. Having things rest in the hands of regulators and politicians, who actively support such things as MPAA/RIAA/DM
      • by lonecrow (931585)
        The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing Joe the Plumber that he was on his side.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WillyWanker (1502057)
      The House has been passing a lot of batshit crazy bills that will never make it out of the Senate. It's what Republicants do instead of actually trying to get something productive done.
      • by Barrinmw (1791848) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:54AM (#35717050)
        ^this. it is posturing at its best...err worst...my main fear is that they attach it to a bill that declares babies not fit for human consumption forcing democrats to have to pass it otherwise be seen as baby cannibals.
        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          Ah yes, the good old "poison pill" tactic, used most commonly against one of those naive representatives who thinks their job is to protect the public and represent their views in government.

          Here's how it works:
          1. Create a bill or resolution that is obviously a positive thing, we'll say "Resolution to Support Motherhood and Apple Pie".
          2. Sneak in an amendment in that is obviously horrible, say "let's kill puppies for fun".
          3. Whichever way the representative votes, he loses: if he votes Aye, then the ads wil

          • by TheSpoom (715771)

            It's weird; if I were a Congressperson, I would be worried about supporting my constituency's interests, not playing stupid political games. I wouldn't run a single negative ad, either.

            But then, that's why I'm not a Congressperson.

            • by dkleinsc (563838)

              Right, that makes you (as a hypothetical congresscritter) somebody likely to be targeted by this tactic.

              Of course, the other problem you'd have is that by quoting Eugene Debs you've declared yourself to be too left-wing to be considered "electable" in the US. (Which is another way of saying that you might have a dangerous and subversive tendency to serve the 99% of Americans who don't run the government.)

            • by cdrguru (88047)

              The problem is that "supporting your constituents interests" means getting money for them. Money that other representatives want as well, so you have to deal with them. You support their getting money in their district for some new sewage distribution plant to spew sewage into some other district and create 50 new jobs and they support your getting money to feed junk food to mothers with small children.

              If you don't go along with the sewage spewer, the mothers won't have enough junk food and they will scre

        • by sorak (246725)

          ^this. it is posturing at its best...err worst...my main fear is that they attach it to a bill that declares babies not fit for human consumption forcing democrats to have to pass it otherwise be seen as baby cannibals.

          You just made me sad...

          H.R. 666, The Repeal of the Baby-Killing Health Care Bill
          This bill repeals the Baby-Killing Health Care Bill and makes it illegal to kill babies for human consumption.
          Amendment 1a: The phrase "Baby killing health care bill" shall be defined as any bill passed by the job-killing Kenyan Barack Hussein Obama.
          Amendment 1b: Anyone caught downloading copyrighted material will be sentenced to no less than 5 years imprisonment, ground into a fine paste, and used to season Newt Gingrich's breakfast.
          Amendment 1c: Free tummy rubs for John Boehner.
          Amendment 1d: Anyone who votes against this bill will be acussed of being a pedophile....

      • Re:Super pre-mature (Score:4, Informative)

        by fnj (64210) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @01:37AM (#35717202)

        Don't you get it? For bills of a funding nature, the Senate has no say whatsoever. Funding legislation must originate in the House (unless our Masters in Washington just continue to ignore the Constitution, which makes all bets off). The House has the power of the purse. Say the House does not fund something. The Senate can't up and originate a bill funding it, and even if they try, it would still have to pass the House (AND the President) before it becomes law. It's a C language compound-or statement. The first term that evaluates false terminates the evaluation with false.

        The House has been passing a lot of batshit crazy bills that will never make it out of the Senate.

        • by Barrinmw (1791848)
          a common workaround is the senate taking a bill that has passed the house, completely gut it and work from there, it still has to be reconciled with a house version though. The constitution just says "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." so as long as the bill originated in the house its all good.
          • An aside, I really don't get the point, then, of appropriation bills having to start in the house. It's a bicameral legislature, both chambers ultimately have to sign off on whatever the finished product is (and have Executive support or sufficient support in both chambers to override veto), so why does it really matter which chamber starts the ball rolling?
            • by fnj (64210)

              Only that there is this little thing called a Constitution which everyone in both chambers swears an oath to "support and defend."

              At root, though, you are absolutely correct. All bills, funding or not, have to pass both chambers and the President[*]. Lack of funding literally doesn't have to pass any one of the three. The side which wants the absence of something has the upper hand over the side which wants something.

              ~~~~~~~~~~

              [*] Or have a Presidential veto overruled by a super-majority in both chambers

            • Re:Super pre-mature (Score:4, Informative)

              by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:00AM (#35717470) Journal

              It's a hold over from the original intent of the senate. The senate was originally supposed to represent the state, not half the people of the state. So even with the legislature being bicameral, the balance between them was between the people who had representatives and states who had senators.

              The concept was about the representatives of the people being the only ones to initiate taxing the people. That's sort of lost now with the senate being voted directly by the people and not appointed by the state legislatures.

              • by mangu (126918)

                The original intent still holds in that every state has the same number of senators, independent of the population.

                If the Senate could create taxes, there would be the risk of low-population states getting together to tax the majority of the people.

                Of course, since both chambers must approve every legislation, that still happens to some extent. That's one of the reasons why there is so much military spending in the states of the west, I suppose.

                • by sumdumass (711423)

                  The senate originally was supposed to represent the state in our federal government- not the people. That distinction has moved and been changed but that's the reason why originally, the senators were appointed by the state in whatever way the state thought good at the time. Generally, one person was appointed by the governor and the other was appointed by the legislature of the state and likely was one of them who got elected within the state legislature.

                  The risk had nothing to so with large states verses

          • by fnj (64210)

            If such a transparent "workaround" (actually a conspiratorial ruse) changes the entire nature of the bill, it is patently a violation of the Constitution and should get the perpetrators removed from office. I.e., if a bill titled "Bill to require all citizens to pay their taxes twice," and with content do accomplish same as its sole content, were completely erased and rewritten from scratch to make possession of gummi bears punishable by a year in prison as its sole content, such a change is patently uncon

            • by Dhalka226 (559740)

              Can you provide any proof for your conjecture, or is this just one of those things where Slashdotters think they know the constitution better than anybody else (even when they don't agree amongst themselves or with established judicial authorities)?

              Amendments that have nothing whatsoever to do with a bill have been allowed for... entirely too long, so I fail to see what ground you're standing on. They wouldn't change a tax bill into a gummi bear bill because if you're making that many changes it would be

              • by kenh (9056)

                Last year, in August, shortly before a highly charged election the House & Senate took a bill originally written for other purposes and rewrote it to take money from the food stamp program and closed a few tax loopholes to provide $10BN in emergency aid for teachers, fire, police,and other first responders an $16BN to fund the "working just great" Medicare system... They re-worked the bill so fast, they didn't even have time to name it, let alone read it, HR 1586 [loc.gov]...

                My point is it is NOT easier to start

                • by Qzukk (229616)

                  And a few years before that, they did the same thing to pass the Paul Wellstone Memorial Bank Bailout Bill. It's not something that's just a "one off" "it was an emergency" thing, it's becoming a regular occurrence and needs to be put down.

            • by Rysc (136391) *

              It's not unconstitutional. It's grade A dickery, but sure as hell it is constitutional. The constitution likely didn't intend for this sort of thing to happen but it was written in what we today would consider a very lax style that allows for a lot of wiggle room.

            • It is not patently unconstitutional; it is common practice.

              While the changes generally tend to remain on-topic (e.g., one net neutrality clause is stricken and replaced with another), the Senate can legislate in a way that completely opposes the House bill. This is a long-standing practice.

              Technically, the revised bill must go through a reconciliation process, although this usually consists of the House signing off on the Senate version. Still, they can reject it or insist on further modifications.

        • by shentino (1139071)

          That's AND you moron.

          Seriously, that sort of mistake is simply unforgivable on an news for nerds site.

          Please hand in your geek card at the door.

        • by hajus (990255)

          That would not be a c language compound-or statement that would evaluate false with the first false term to evaluate false. That would be a compound-and statement.

          • by fnj (64210)

            Correctimundo. Thank you. In general, both logical OR and logical AND can short circuit. In OR, the first true guarantees the whole expression is true, and short circuits further evaluation. In AND, the first false guarantees the whole expression is false, and short circuits further evaluation. The problem is not that I read K&R in 1979; it's that I tend to go too fast putting concepts into words.

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Come on, tell me honestly that you would like an efficient government that was churning out new laws at a high rate?

        Or would you rather have utter and complete gridlock with the government doing absolutely nothing but talking and wasting a lot of time?

        Do you believe the government is going to put people to work? Might it look like a chain gang, or do you think everyone will sit in classrooms being retrained for some new highly technical jobs? I'd say neither is likely - so far the government has managed t

        • But what they are doing is the latter -- they are wasting time and money on bills that they know full well will never make it out of the Senate, let alone past the President's desk.

          Why not instead accept that in order to get something actually passed will require some kind of compromise? But no, it's all about "we're gonna do it our way and only our way even if that means absolutely nothing gets done". And that's unacceptable. The Republicants have been called the party of "No" for a reason. They are not in
  • They need time to draft the bill to make this pesky regulation a shadow of its current form. Don't worry, AT&T is helping!

  • I know how they must feel. My doctor told me I suffer from premature appeal, and that it's also incurable. It sucks, let me tell ya.
  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:55AM (#35717058)

    The US Courts have a very strong tendency to take matters of standing seriously -- nearly every opinion will start with the question "Does this court have the jurisdiction (either by the Constitution or by statute) to take up this case?". In most cases, this is a good thing since it grounds the scope of the courts to their intended purpose. (BTW, the notion of limited scope is distinct from curtailing the power of the courts, which is quite wide provided that the matter is within their purview at all -- many seem to forget the distinction).

    Since the case is statutory under the APA [wikipedia.org] and the APA provides for judicial review of "final actions" (which makes some sense - Congress wanted the court to have oversight over agency policy not agency procedure), Verizon cannot appeal the decision to adopt net neutrality rules until they become final.

    Since the FCC is very likely to go through with publishing the rules, Verizon will get a chance to challenege them on the merits as not being within the power granted to the FCC by Congress. Eventually, anyway.

    • by kenh (9056)

      Exactly - Verizon was 'incurably premature' - and as any woman will tell you, premature is never good!

  • Pure buggers, their prematurity is incurable.

  • I thought they had pills for that sort of thing.

  • Of course it's premature. What rule are they objecting to? It doesn't exist yet.
    Sheesh! Verizon should have been penalized for filing a frivolous suit.

  • No contest.

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