After a Federal Court ruling last October upheld a decision to cut net neutrality protections, Mozilla vowed to press ahead with the Republican-led FCC’s battle. On Friday, Mozilla filed a petition with the Washington Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a re-examination of the net neutrality case.
“As we said at the time, the battle is not over,” said Amy Keating, Mozilla’s chief legal officer. This decision raises many consumer protection and open Internet issues, and we look forward to maintaining net neutrality as a fundamental digital right. “
In the petition submitted by Mozilla, the case was called for a new, full team of former judges, or DC Circuit, to reopen the case. Mozilla said in the petition that it “contradicts the precedent of DC Circuit or the Supreme Court.” It is unclear whether the court will hear the case.
Mozilla’s petition focuses on the FCC’s reclassification of broadband as an information service rather than a service for ordinary carriers, which treats broadband more like a utility and is subject to stricter rules. Mozilla’s petition also cites the FCC’s failure to address competition and market harm, noting that the FCC “failed to provide any meaningful analysis of whether antitrust and consumer protection laws can in practice prevent blocking and throttle.” “
If the Supreme Court accepts an appeal by companies such as Mozilla, it will be difficult to reopen it before a full panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This latest legal development is likely to keep the issue going for the 2020 presidential election. Almost all Democrats running for president in 2020 have expressed support for net neutrality, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana. All of these candidates have made promises to appoint FCC commissioners to restore old rules.