Thursday, December 14, 2017

Washington State Attorney General will sue to keep Net Neutrality

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson released the following statement on today's Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality.

"Yesterday I sent a letter to the FCC asking them to delay their vote gutting net neutrality. Unfortunately, they did not.

"Today, I am announcing my intention to file a legal challenge to the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality, along with attorneys general across the country.

"We are 5-0 against the Trump Administration because they often fail to follow the law when taking executive action. There is a strong legal argument that with this action, the federal government violated the Administrative Procedure Act — again.

"We will be filing a petition for review in the coming days.

"Allowing internet service providers to discriminate based on content undermines a free and open internet. Today’s action will seriously harm consumers, innovation and small businesses.

"I was proud to stand with Gov. Inslee yesterday when he announced that Washington state will step up to protect consumers in light of this disappointing federal action. I commend him for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work with him to that end."
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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contacts:
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

Medical Marijuana Victory for ACLU


December 14, 2017 Press Release for ACLU
PHOENIX –Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery has decided not to challenge the most recent ruling upholding Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act, as the deadline of December 11 to seek review by the United States Supreme Court has passed. In 2016, the Arizona Court of Appeals found in favor of a Sun City medical marijuana dispensary, ruling that federal law prohibiting marijuana does not void Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act and that the county and state should therefore allow the dispensary to continue operating. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona represented the White Mountain Health Center on this issue of federal preemption.

Emma Andersson, the ACLU’s lead attorney on White Mountain Medical Center v. Maricopa County and staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, had this response:
“From the beginning, Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery was clear about his intentions with this case—he wanted to shut down medical marijuana in Arizona and throughout the country. He spent five years in litigation, trying to use federal law as a cudgel against the will of voters in his own state and across the country. His effort failed.

“As he waged his futile battle in the drug war, White Mountain and Arizona’s other dispensaries continued their good work, providing crucial medicine to people with debilitating conditions. That is what Arizonans wanted when they voted for medical marijuana access in 2010. Today, finally, medical marijuana is safe in Arizona.”

For the 2016 Arizona Court of Appeals ruling and other information about White Mountain Medical Center v. Maricopa County:
https://www.aclu.org/cases/white-mountain-health-center-v-maricopa-county
For more information about the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project:
https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform
For more about the ACLU of Arizona:
https://www.acluaz.org/

Net Neutrality Ruling by FCC


December 14, 2017 ACLU Press Release
WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission voted today to implement Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to end net neutrality.
Net neutrality prevents internet service providers from prioritizing data for businesses and other organizations that they favor or that pay more. The rules keep the internet open, free, and unrestricted, preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers that can control and manipulate what people access on the internet.

Jay Stanley, American Civil Liberties Union senior policy analyst, said:
“Since the end of the dial-up era, the FCC has enforced network neutrality principles and helped create the internet as we know it. Today’s misguided FCC action represents a radical departure that risks erosion of the biggest free speech platform the world has ever known.

“Today’s loss means that telecommunications companies will start intruding more on how people use the internet. Internet service providers will become much more aggressive in their efforts to make money off their role as online gatekeepers.
“But the fight for network neutrality is not over by any means. The ACLU and our allies will be fighting back in every possible arena to restore these crucial protections.”