This was a quiet week in the D.C. Circuit — that is, unless you follow the FCC. If you are an FCC aficionado, today is a very big day. So big, in fact, that the Court issued special instructions, including:
And some more:
Yes, today is the “net neutrality” argument at the D.C. Circuit. This is a topic we have covered a lot here at Notice & Comment. I’ve not listened to the argument yet.* But I imagine that many, many lawyers were listening — or at least will listen — to the audio.
There is another reason, moreover, that today is “FCC Day” in the D.C. Circuit. The Court issued a decision in National Lifeline Association v. FCC. Judge Rogers (joined by Judges Griffith and Randolph) vacated the agency’s efforts to change the Tribal Lifeline program (which provides discounts on certain telecommunications services for those living on Tribal lands). Here is a good summary of the decision:
As you can see from that summary, this decision has relevance beyond the FCC context. This is both a State Farm (which the Court cites five times by name) case and a logical outgrowth case. The Court also addresses how long comment periods must be: “When substantial rule changes are proposed, a 30-day comment period is generally the shortest time period sufficient for interested persons to meaningfully review a proposed rule and provide informed comment.” Interesting.
* I had hoped to attend. It’s been a while since I visited the Court in person. Alas, it didn’t happen.