Wyden, Merkley urge court to reinstate net neutrality rules, restore equal access to Internet

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined their colleagues in filing a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) December 2017 decision to eliminate net neutrality rules.

In sum, the FCC’s reclassification decision in its 2017 Order is based entirely in the misuse of language,” the members of Congress wrote in their amicus brief. “It is divorced from the practical realities that supported the FCC’s 2015 classification decision. And it leads immediately to absurd results. It is an abuse of discretion which this Court should overturn.”

The FCC’s decision repealed the 2015 Open Internet rules, which prohibited Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from engaging in discriminatory practices, such as blocking or throttling online content and establishing internet fast and slow lanes.

Wyden and Merkley were joined by the following Senators in signing onto the legal brief: Democratic Leader Chuck E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Cory A. Booker, D-N.J., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Angus S. King, Jr., I-Maine, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Margaret Wood Hassan, D-N.H., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Gary C. Peters, D-Mich., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The following House members also signed onto the brief: Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Frank Pallone, Jr., Michael F. Doyle, Janice D. Schakowsky, Peter Welch, Zoe Lofgren, Mark Takano, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ro Khanna, José E. Serrano, Adam Smith, Jared Huffman, Peter DeFazio, Maxine Waters, Pramila Jayapal, Jerry McNerney, Jamie Raskin, Tulsi Gabbard, Hakeem S. Jeffries, Mike Thompson, John Lewis, Yvette D. Clarke, Charlie Crist, Adriano Espaillat, James P. McGovern, Nydia M. Velázquez, Mark Pocan, Chellie Pingree, Jacki Speier, Sean Patrick Maloney, Keith Ellison, Lloyd Doggett, Joe Courtney, Raúl M. Grijalva, Daniel T. Kildee, Joseph Crowley, Betty McCollum, Jacky Rosen, Stephen F. Lynch, Earl Blumenauer, David E. Price, Alan S. Lowenthal, Marcy Kaptur, André Carson, Jimmy Panetta, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Barbara Lee, Steve Cohen, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Lucille Roybal-Allard, Albio Sires, Carolyn B. Maloney, Mark DeSaulnier, Sheila Jackson Lee, Rosa L. DeLauro, Danny K. Davis, Gregorio Kilili, Camacho Sablan, John P. Sarbanes, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Richard M. Nolan, Suzanne Bonamici, Seth Moulton, Diana DeGette, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Kathy Castor, Colleen Hanabusa, John Yarmuth, Jerrold Nadler, Katherine Clark, Grace Meng, William R. Keating, Doris Matsui, David N. Cicilline, and John B. Larson.

The full brief can be found here.