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Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, Is No Friend to Net Neutrality

July 10, 2018, 12:02 AM UTC

Advocates of net neutrality have battled with the Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump. They may also want to take a closer look at Brett Kavanaugh, now that he is President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Kavanaugh is also an opponent of net neutrality, according to an article from Motherboard. The 53-year-old judge recently argued that net neutrality rules violated the free speech rights of internet service providers (ISPs). Net neutrality mandates that telecommunications network operators must treat all web traffic as — you guessed it — neutral. In other words, ISPs are prevented from throttling or blocking service to certain websites, and they are not allowed to charge a premium for any type of access.

To save net neutrality, proponents have taken the fight to individual states. California is still trying to hammer out a bill to preserve aspects of net neutrality, while Washington State has upheld major tenets of the policy.

Kavanaugh is reportedly respected among Republicans in Washington, although some conservatives worry that he may emerge as too much of the moderate for their tastes on issues such as abortion.

George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2003. Democratic opposition delayed his confirmation for three years, while in the interim, Kavanaugh served as White House Staff Secretary. Before that, his experience included a stint clerking for Justice Kennedy.

This story has been updated to reflect that Kavanaugh has been named as President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.