California has passed a net neutrality law, and the Donald Trump administration is none too happy about it. The department of justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of California, and will be attempting to block the law. The line of reasoning that the DOJ is following says that only the federal government can regulate net neutrality.
In it’s filing, the DOJ said that the Federal Communications Commission had been granted the authority to pass legislation that had to do regulation of net neutrality, by Congress. This was done to ensure that different states don’t write conflicting legislation and throw the whole system into chaos.
The DOJ further said that California was,
attempting to subvert the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach by imposing burdensome state regulations on the free Internet, which is unlawful and anti-consumer.
As per Attorney General Jeff Session:
Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce—the federal government does. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy. The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.
This is not the first time that California has found itself locking horns with the federal administration. From protracted battles over immigrant sanctuary laws , to environmental protection regulations, the list is pretty long.
Meanwhile, California is not the only state that has passed a net neutrality law on its on violation. Washington and Oregon are among states that have issued their own guidelines with regards to net neutrality. Net neutrality is a major concern for the US, and plenty of telecom providers are lobbying against it. However, California’s legal battle with the DOJ will be a pivot and will set the precedence for others to follow.