by J. Tyson Covey
In a significant development for the years-long net neutrality debate, yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its suit to enjoin California's net neutrality law (SB 822) (No. 2:18-cv-0660, E.D. Cal.). The California law reimposes on broadband Internet Service Providers several requirements the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rescinded in its 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order, 33 FCC Rcd 311. For example, the California law prohibits blocking of lawful content, apps, and services; throttling of Internet traffic; and paid prioritization of traffic, and also contains a general prohibition on unreasonable practices. The DOJ sued to enjoin the California statute as being conflict-preempted. Several amici, including groups of scholars and many state Attorneys General, weighed in on both sides, and briefing on the preliminary injunction was complete.