DOJ Sues California

PUBLISHED: 8:45 PM 1 Oct 2018

Justice Department Sues California After Gov. Signs Net Neutrality Law

Federal officials filed a lawsuit against the state in response to a new law signed by the governor basically restoring net neutrality.

The United States Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against California in response to Gov. Jerry Brown signing a law to basically restore net neutrality (pictured above).

Just recently, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) passed a law to basically restore net neutrality, which is an Obama-era internet regulation that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal earlier this year despite a massive amount of liberal pushback.

Unsurprisingly, the United States Justice Department immediately responded by suing the state for what many agree is an extreme overreach on behalf of the lawmakers.   

Specifically, Gov. Brown just signed a new piece of legislation this Sunday prohibiting internet service providers (ISPs) from “blocking or slowing access to legal online content, demanding special fees from websites to prioritize their traffic or charging customers for special exemptions to caps on their data use.”

And, although this sounds good in theory, most conservatives recognize the underlying push behind it, which is full control.

Basically, ISPs under this law would not be allowed to offer their services in whatever what they feel is best. Instead, they would have to treat all internet traffic equally, regardless of how much bandwidth the website uses.

This means that they wouldn’t be able to, quite absurdly, charge “major bandwidth users” such as Netflix more than other companies that use a fraction of the bandwidth, which is a complete reversal of the FCC’s recent decision.

In response to the passage of the law, the US Department of Justice promptly filed a federal action lawsuit in a US district court located in Sacramento, California to block the legislation from going into effect.   

“Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce — the federal government does,” explained Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions.

“Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy,” the attorney general noted.

By saying this, AG Sessions appeared to be making the case that California’s law regulating ISPs in their state would essentially have the effect of regulating the internet companies in all states, which is something that is not within the California legislature’s jurisdiction.  

Many on the left, of course, reacted to Gov. Brown’s decision much differently.

“This is a historic day for California,” celebrated State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-CA), the lawmaker who authored the law.

“A free and open internet is a cornerstone of 21st-century life: our democracy, our economy, our healthcare and public safety systems, and day-to-day activities,” he argued.

Others, however, like USTelecom, which is a telecommunications trade group, expressed concern that letting states make their own internet regulations could lead to problems in the future.

“Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all,” asserted the group in a statement.  

It’s sadly not uncommon for the authoritarian left to support legislation that countless people recognize as terrible.

For example, just recently, Gov. Brown reportedly signed a bill, known as “Senate Bill 1250,” making it easier for elected officials to live in houses outside of the districts they represent. Basically, this means that they’d be able to pass harmful policies without having to experience the consequences of doing so.

A few weeks before that, democratic city officials in New York proposed a new policy to allow residents to choose “X” as a third category on their official birth certificate if they do not supposedly identify as either female or male. In addition to this, the policy would remove the requirement of having a medical professional submit a statement recommending the document change.

Several weeks before that, a liberal New York City councilman proposed a policy to essentially punish people with a fine of roughly $50 if they’re caught by law enforcement officials walking on a public sidewalk while smoking a cigarette.

Before that, Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) proposed the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, which is a bill to raise taxes on cartridges and shells from 11 percent to 50 percent as well as raise taxes on and revolvers and pistols from 10 percent to 20 percent.    

And prior to that, policymakers in California passed SB 320, which was a piece of legislation requiring every health care center on a California State University and University of California campus to provide students with abortion medication if requested.   

Incredibly, though, Gov. Brown actually ended up vetoing this legislation several days ago on the grounds that such a law is unnecessary.

“Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California,” began the liberal governor in a statement about the reason why he vetoed the bill.

“According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” he continued, adding, “because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”

Upon learning about Brown’s decision, a multitude of liberals promptly lashed out at him.

For example, shortly after the governor vetoed the legislation, officials with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California released a statement claiming that his decision was a massive setback to the abortion movement.

In addition to the outrage, Brown’s veto also received some praise from numerous pro-life activists, including Kristan Hawkins, who’s the president of Students for Life of America.

Unfortunately, however, while Brown made what many conservatives would agree was the right decision in vetoing SB 320, it doesn’t appear that the same cannot be said of his decision to try and restore net neutrality. Hopefully, though, the Justice Department will ultimately be successful in blocking the law.