California Governor Jerry Brown was sued by the U.S. Justice Department after signing the net neutrality law. The legislation which aims to restore open internet protections was set to take effect on January 1. However, the Justice Department filed a preliminary injunction late last Sunday to prevent it from taking effect.
The government said that California sought to “second-guess” the federal government and warned “the effect of this state legislation would be to nullify federal law across the country.”
The Justice Department stated that Internet companies “cannot realistically comply with one set of standards in this area for California and another for the rest of the nation — especially when internet communications frequently cross multiple jurisdictions.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Sunday in a statement that “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.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Sunday accused the Trump Administration of blatantly disregarding “millions of Americans who voiced strong support for net neutrality rules”.
According to Becerra, California is “home to countless start-ups, tech giants and nearly 40 million consumers – will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load.”
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who initiated the move to reverse net neutrality, issued the following statement:
“Not only is California’s internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers. The law prohibits many free-data plans, which allow consumers to stream video, music, and the like exempt from any data limits.”
The move is the latest in the mounting issues that Washington and California have sparred over.
In March, Governor Brown accused President Donald Trump’s administration of “declaring war on the most populous U.S state, after the Justice Department sued to stop policies that protect illegal immigrants against deportation.”
Last month, California regulators voted to require that automakers stick with Obama-era federal vehicle emissions standards for units sold in the state despite Trump administration’s efforts to weaken the standards.