Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

Court strikes down lawsuit over Twitter ban of person who asked for help to “take out” DeRay Mckesson

A court struck down far-right figure Charles C. Johnson’s lawsuit against Twitter which banned him in 2015 after he sent a tweet asking for help to “take out” high-profile Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson. The California Superior Court in Fresno granted Twitter’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, finding that it was a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) action.

AT&T wants to settle with FTC to avoid unlimited data throttling lawsuit

AT&T has given up its years-long quest to cripple the Federal Trade Commission's authority to regulate broadband providers. Just weeks ago, AT&T said it intended to appeal its loss in the case to the US Supreme Court before a deadline of May 29. But May 31, AT&T informed court officials that it has decided not to file a petition to the Supreme Court and did not ask for a deadline extension.

Big Tech's Fight for Net Neutrality Moves Behind the Scenes

You might not be hearing much from big tech on net neutrality lately. But the likes of Google and Facebook are still invested in the fight behind the scenes. The Internet Association joined a legal battle to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's decision to revoke the Obama-era rules, as did the industry group Incompas, which includes smaller telecommunications companies as well as tech companies including Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, and Twitter.

No, Twitter still isn’t subject to the First Amendment — even if a judge said Trump’s account is

[Analysis] The ruling that President Trump violated the constitutional rights of Americans when he blocked some of his Twitter followers after they criticized him politically raises many more questions about the extent of those First Amendment obligations. President Trump cannot legally block his Twitter followers for political reasons, the judge ruled, because that would amount to “viewpoint discrimination” by a government official in a public forum. 

President Trump cannot block Twitter users for their political views, court rules

President Donald Trump's decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled May 23, saying that President Trump's effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the US Constitution because the digital space in which he engages with constituents is a public forum. The ruling rejects administration arguments that the First Amendment does not apply to President Trump in this case because he was acting as a private individual.

Telecom industry books major win in municipal-broadband fight

It's been a tough slog for cities and towns that want to build ultra-fast fiber internet networks to benefit residents, businesses and their local economies — so tough, in fact, that virtually none has managed to do it. In May, a ruling by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority further diminished their odds.  PURA's May 9 decision, which may end up in state court, blocks municipalities from using their legally reserved space on utility poles to build fiber networks that offer broadband internet service to residents and businesses, including through contracts with third-party developers.

Justice Alito, State Tax Hero?

[Commentary]  I had been waiting with bated breath for the Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA. On May 14, not only did the Supreme Court strike down the federal law at issue, which had stopped states, counties, and cities from legalizing sports gambling within their borders, but it also appears to have invalidated a broad swath of congressional limitations on state tax authority. (Oh, and it also saved sanctuary cities.) What I, for one, didn’t expect is that it would have such significant implications for state tax law as well. Why might it?

Bold BDS Order Borne Out in Business Fiber Growth Statistics

[Press release] May 15 the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s new Business Data Services (BDS) regime.

Fox News, 21st Century Fox Settle Discrimination Suits With 18 Ex-Employees

Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox said they have reached settlements with 18 former employees of the news channel who had filed lawsuits that included allegations of racial and gender discrimination.

AT&T will ask Supreme Court to cripple the FTC’s authority over broadband

In an attempt to win a government lawsuit over its throttling of unlimited data plans, AT&T will appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court. The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T in October 2014 in US District Court in Northern California, alleging that AT&T promised unlimited data to wireless customers and then throttled their speeds by as much as 90 percent. In response, AT&T argues that the FTC has no jurisdiction over any aspect of AT&T's business because the FTC lacks authority to regulate common carriers.