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22 state AGs to challenge net-neutrality repeal in federal court

[JURIST] Attorneys general from 21 states and the District of Columbia filed a Protective Petition for Review [text, PDF] in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday asking the court to review the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] decision to rescind net neutrality laws [JURIST report] that prohibited internet service providers (ISPs) from deliberately blocking or slowing down websites or internet content or charging for preferential treatment.

The attorneys general are arguing that the FCC's order is "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion," that it violates the Constitution and the Communications Act of 1934, and that it conflicts with federal notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements. Unlike a complaint, the petition does not elaborate further on the attorneys' legal arguments.

The lawsuit is being led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman [official website]. In a video statement announcing the lawsuit, Schneiderman stated:

The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers—allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online. This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet.

Schneiderman is joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The attorneys general are not the only group challenging the matter. Mozilla Corporation [corporate website] also filed a petition [text, PDF] Tuesday, as did Free Press and Public Knowledge [advocacy websites], two public interest groups.

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