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Blumenthal To Challenge Kavanaugh Over Net Neutrality

Mary Altaffer
Demonstrators rally in support of net neutrality outside a Verizon store in New York in December.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says he and other congressional Democrats have filed an amicus brief in support of lawsuits challenging the FCC’s recent repeal of net neutrality rules.

“The open internet order was based on well-established law and 10 years of evidence. And this effort by the FCC, without a fact-based docket, is clearly contrary to law and should be overturned.”

Blumenthal was speaking during a telephone press conference on Tuesday.

In December, the FCC rolled back the Obama-era “net neutrality” rules giving internet service providers, like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, a free hand to slow or block websites and apps or charge more for faster speeds.

The big telecommunications companies had lobbied hard to overturn the rules. They say the rules are heavy-handed and discourage investment in broadband networks.

Meanwhile, Blumenthal called President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a threat to net neutrality.  

“Make no mistake, Judge Kavanaugh would cripple net neutrality. Not just this year, not just this FCC, but for decades to come.”

Blumenthal says Kavanaugh argued in a case last year that net neutrality rules violate the First Amendment right of internet service providers to censor user content.

“He would, in effect, allow the cable companies complete and unconstrained leeway in their power over what consumers see and hear on the internet.”

Blumenthal says he’ll challenge Kavanaugh on his record during the Senate’s confirmation hearings next week.

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including the founding producer of the weekly talk show, The Full Story.