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What Will Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Mean For Net Neutrality?

net neutrality

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

On Monday night, Donald Trump announced his second Supreme Court nominee of his term.  That’s right, Donald Trump has had the pleasure of being able to nominate two Supreme Court judges in his short term.  His nominee this time is DC Court of Appeals’ Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  What shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone is that Kavanaugh sides with Trump on things like – net neutrality.  So, if there were any hopes that we might go back to a world where all data on the internet is treated equally, that might be dashed now thanks to Trumps pick.  But if you’re the NSA or big business, then this pick might be beneficial for you.

Of course, Kavanaugh is a conservative, but more specifically, he’s conservative around his decisions on the Second Amendment, religious freedoms and also campaign finance.  No wonder Trump likes him so much!  But it gets better.  He is so adamantly against net neutrality that he believes that it being enacted in the first place violates the First Amendment:

First, Congress did not clearly authorize the FCC to issue the net neutrality rule. Congress has debated net neutrality for many years, but Congress has never enacted net neutrality legislation or clearly authorized the FCC to impose common carrier obligations on Internet service providers. The lack of clear congressional authorization matters.

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Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

But is this an accurate depiction of the rules?  I guess I’m saying that because I wonder how it could have been enacted in the first place if Congress never clearly authorized the FCC to impose the regulations.  Maybe I don’t understand?   Here is what Kavanaugh believes to be the case:

Second and in the alternative, the net neutrality rule violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994), and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 520 U.S. 180 (1997), the First Amendment bars the Government from restricting the editorial discretion of Internet service providers, absent a showing that an Internet service provider possesses market power in a relevant geographic market. Here, however, the FCC has not even tried to make a market power showing. Therefore, under the Supreme Court’s precedents applying the First Amendment, the net neutrality rule violates the First Amendment.

… The threshold question is whether the First Amendment applies to Internet service providers when they exercise editorial discretion and choose what content to carry and not to carry. The answer is yes.

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This whole thing is really confusing – right?  Well, it’s confusing because it sounds like he’s a proponent of net neutrality, but the fact is, he doesn’t think that net neutrality should have existed in the first place.  And, if he’s on the team making the decision on how to proceed, it’s going to be worse for Americans, rather than better.  In fact, it sounds more like he’s a proponent of the government getting more involved in internet regulation.

What does this mean?  Well, it means that we are now officially living in that dystopia that everyone knew would happen if Donald Trump became president.  I think the worst part is that this is going to affect people with low income the most.  Their options for internet are going to be limited, especially in rural areas where it’s already limited.  All that said, Hillary isn’t looking so bad now, is she?

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