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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Web browser developer Mozilla Corp and video-sharing website Vimeo Inc said on Thursday they had refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of landmark net neutrality rules from taking effect.
A coalition of more than 20 state attorneys general led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman separately plans to refile a legal challenge as early as today.
The Federal Communications Commission officially published its order overturning net neutrality rules in the Federal Register on Thursday, a procedural step that allows for the filing of legal challenges.
The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 to overturn rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect and that could take months.
Congressional aides say the publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. U.S. Senate Democrats have the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal, leaving them just one vote short of a majority.
Even if Democrats could win a majority in the Senate, reinstatement of net neutrality would also require a favorable vote in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a larger majority, and would still be subject to a likely veto by President Donald Trump. Democrats need 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican-controlled Senate because Vice President Mike Pence can break any tie.
On Friday, a coalition of more than 20 state attorneys general and advocacy groups agreed to withdraw a protective petition filed in January that sought to preserve the right to sue.
Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said last week the office agreed to withdraw ”the original petition and will simply refile it once the final rule is published. Either way, our coalition of AGs is taking the FCC to court to challenge its illegal rollback of net neutrality.”
The repeal was a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc, conferring power over what content consumers can access.
Technology companies including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc have thrown their weight behind the congressional bid to reverse the FCC December vote.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky