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Kentucky Joins 21 States In Legal Challenge To Net Neutrality Ruling

Andy Beshear
J. Tyler Franklin
Andy Beshear

Kentucky is one of 22 states suing the Federal Communications Commission over its planned rollback of net neutrality changes. The multistate lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The suit alleges that the FCC decision violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act as well as a number of state and local laws. The rule has not yet gone into effect.

Andy Beshear, attorney general of Kentucky, said last month that he was against changes to the Obama-era regulations that protected equal access to the internet. Despite the protests of more than a dozen attorneys general, the proposed rollback passed an FCC vote last month along party lines.

"I’m opposing the repeal of net neutrality because of the destructive nature it will have on every Kentuckian from farmers to college students who use free and open internet to thrive and prosper,” Beshear said in a written statement Tuesday. “As a state and as a nation, we cannot turn our backs on the hard working people of this country by letting the federal government walk all over them and take away their level playing field.”

Other states that joined the petition include California, Illinois, New Mexico and Vermont.

New York's Schneiderman built a bloc of attorneys general to oppose the proposed net neutrality repeal, which he called "illegal" and "a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet."

"The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers – allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online," Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday announcing the lawsuit.

This legal challenge to the FCC's net neutrality decision came on the same day that U.S. Senate Democrats said they nearly had the votes to overrule the move.

This story has been updated.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.