Rep. Eshoo Leads 13 California Democrats Urging Incoming Attorney General to Prioritize Net Neutrality

January 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) and 13 members of California’s congressional delegation sent a letter to Attorney General-designate Merrick Garland urging him to withdraw the U.S. federal government’s lawsuit against the State of California over its net neutrality law as one of the first actions after inauguration.

“With the new Administration, we have an opportunity to restore the damage the Trump FCC has done to the free and open internet in the last four years,” said Rep. Eshoo. “As the pandemic surges, it is more important than ever that we restore the policies to ensure families have full access to an open and reliable internet.”

“We urge the new Department of Justice to withdraw from the U.S. federal government’s lawsuit against the State of California over its net neutrality law as one of the first actions after inauguration. A free and open internet is critical for innovation, free expression, and our economy, and net neutrality rules are exceedingly popular,” wrote the members. “Four in five Americans support net neutrality – 87 percent of Democrats, nearly 80 percent of independents, and 77 percent of Republicans.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE and the text of the letter can be found below:

 

Dear Attorney General-designate Garland,

We congratulate you on being selected as our country’s next Attorney General and we look forward to partnering with you. We urge the new Department of Justice to withdraw from the U.S. federal government’s lawsuit against the State of California over its net neutrality law as one of the first actions after inauguration.

A free and open internet is critical for innovation, free expression, and our economy, and net neutrality rules are exceedingly popular. Four in five Americans support net neutrality – that’s 87 percent of Democrats, nearly 80 percent of independents, and 77 percent of Republicans.

In September 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 822, the strongest net neutrality law in the country. The Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) sued to overturn California’s law hours later, and associations of telecommunications providers sued within days. Parties to the case agreed to put the case on hold until Mozilla v. FCC was resolved. In that case, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s 2018 Restoring Internet Order (RIF) that preempted state net neutrality laws.

The arguments of the Trump DOJ and telecommunications associations in U.S. v. California extend further than even the FCC’s RIF and have implications on the ability of California and other states to regulate many communications and technology policy issues.

The Eastern District of California has scheduled a hearing in U.S. v. California for a request for an injunction on January 26, 2021. It is for these reasons, we ask that the federal DOJ withdraw from U.S. v. California shortly after President-elect Biden is inaugurated.

We thank you in advance for considering our request.