Net Neutrality Opponents In Congress (Including Those Funded By AT&T) Promise Repeal Fight

Filter applied because the original photo came out blurry. Sorry.

Barely one day after the FCC passed a form of Net Neutrality, pleasing no one in the process, opponents have already committed themselves to repealing the “hostile takeover.” Sen. Jim DeMint, from South Carolina, has come out against the new rules, saying that “unelected bureaucrats rammed through an Internet takeover.” I suppose we should ignore the fact that AT&T, no friend of Net Neutrality, has been his third biggest campaign contributor over the past five years. But that’s just a coincidence.

DeMint goes on.

To keep the Internet economy thriving, this decision must be reversed. Regulatory reform will be a top priority for Republicans in the next Congress, and I intend to prevent the FCC or any government agency from unilaterally burdening our recovering economy with baseless regulation.

He’s so dedicated to this cause that he’s decided to refer to the FCC as the “Fabricating a Crisis Commission.”

Well played, Senator.

To his credit, DeMint may have a point buried underneath all that silly rhetoric, and it has to down with how the FCC enacted Net Neutrality in the first place. The New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity bemoaned [PDF] the fact that the FCC passed Net Neutrality not by “[invoking] it more robust regulating powers,” but that it “based the new rule on legal authority that was called into serious doubt by court decision earlier this year making the long term prospects for the rule quite poor.”

If there’s to be a proper legal challenge to this form of Net Neutrality—and that might not be such a bad thing, given how flimsy the new rules are—it’s to come from that angle, that the FCC didn’t have the authority to pass any sort of Net Neutrality in the first place.

This is what happens when you try to please everyone.