WASHINGTON (CN) — In an order Monday that shuts the door on Obama-era net-neutrality rules, three conservative Supreme Court justices said that they would have considered an appeal that critics described as attempting to erase history.
“It wasn’t enough for this FCC to roll back net neutrality. It actually petitioned the Supreme Court to erase history and wipe out an earlier court decision upholding open internet politics,” FCC Commissioner and net-neutrality advocate Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted today in response to the news. “Today the Supreme Court refused to do so. Let’s call this interesting.”
Rosenworcel is one of five commissioners of the agency, which Republicans have controlled since the election of President Donald Trump.
The FCC acted quickly under Trump to repeal the 2015 set of rules known as net neutrality, which aimed to ensure equal treatment for all internet traffic, but a previous ruling from the D.C. Circuit in support of the rules still drew the ire of the new administration.
Joined by telecommunication bigwigs like AT&T, the commission petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari, but the justices turned down the demand without comment Monday, as is their custom.
The unsigned order notes only that Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch would have taken up the case, and that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the appeal.
Prior to his ascension to the high court, Kavanaugh had been on the D.C. Circuit panel that ruled on the net-neutrality case. Roberts meanwhile has an investment portfolio that includes telecommunications companies.
Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has not responded to an email seeking comment.