Episode #404, in which the DoJ (on behalf of the FCC) sues CA for imposing net neutrality

I haven’t yet found a solid cite on this, but it looks like those checkpoints are authorized by the federal government, which makes this not the same thing at all.

I find it curious that the FCC ended net neutrality because, they claimed, it was not within their purview to enforce net neutrality and now they say California is violating FCC rules. What rules? The rules the FCC said it was not authorized to make?

I am hard pressed to see how this affects interstate commerce either. ISPs have no trouble identifying users who live in California. They identify users six ways from Sunday as it is to serve up ads and sell user behavior to marketers and whatnot.

If California has provided public subsidies to ISPs and easements to build infrastructure on public land and whatnot they can have no say in how those ISPs conduct business in the state? Seems weird.

And, FWIW, the FCC never mentions the dormant commerce clause in its repeal of net neutrality. Why skip that part?

What would be the relevance of the dormant commerce clause to that announcement?

If they want to tell you all the reasons why you cannot enforce net neutrality then why not list all the reasons?

Sorry, I am failing to see how the dormant commerce clause could be applicable here. California would have to be discriminating against service providers based on whether or not they are based in California (i.e., giving local business a leg up over non-local business). This law does not seem to impose origin-based inequality.

The dormant commerce clause has nothing whatsoever to do with the federal government enforcing net neutrality. It is a doctrine that (potentially) prohibits state legislation in the subject area. The FCC’s announcement has no reason to list barriers to state regulation.

Honest question:

This being the case why does the FCC have standing to sue?

The FCC isn’t suing. The federal government is suing, because California’s law (in their view) intrudes impermissibly on federal legislative authority.

FCC policy directives are not legislation in and of themself.

But Congress has lawfully delegated an authority that the legislative branch holds under Art I to the FCC. If Texas establishes its own system of licensing radio stations that is in conflict with FCC regulations, Texas will be sued by the Department of Justice in the same manner. Claiming that the FCC has no power to make legislation or regulate interstate commerce will not get you very far.


But the dormant commerce clause doctrine doesn’t have anything to do with FCC directives. So why is this observation pertinent?

Please explain again how the dormant commerce clause is in any way applicable here.