California Attorney General Xavier Becerra swiftly criticised the DOJ action saying the Trump Administration continues to ignore the "millions of Americans who voiced strong support for net neutrality rules, California - home to countless start-ups, tech giants and almost 40 million consumers - will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load".
The net-neutrality rule forbids all internet providers, such as cable and telephone companies, from prioritizing their own content by slowing down or speeding up certain websites and charging more for certain services.
Marc Martin, a former FCC staffer who is now chairman of communications practice at the law firm Perkins Coie, said typical "pre-emption" lawsuits filed by the federal government seek to bar states from ignoring properly enacted federal regulations such as the Voting Rights Act. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserted his belief in the power of the federal government, saying "Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy".
Net neutrality advocates worry that without the rules, internet providers could create fast lanes and slow lanes that favour their own sites and apps or make it harder for consumers to see content from competitors. This means that the California state government doesn't get to pass bills that conflict directly with the ones the federal government has passed.
Martin said it's a rare pre-emption argument, but it's not novel.
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Consequently, numerous other 25-odd states mulling over passing their own net-neutrality laws are undoubtedly going to keep tabs on the outcome of this trial, making this crucial to the fate of net-neutrality in the U.S. "California could argue net neutrality laws are consumer protection laws".
Weiner said in a statement that "Today marks a true win for the internet and for an open society".
The DOJ is not the only ones moving to stop this new law.
"The only lasting settlement would be bipartisan congressional legislation", he said.
California state Sen. Scott Wiener, an author of the state bill, struck back said in a statement the Justice Department lawsuit is just the latest attempt by the administration to block the state's initiatives. "I don't see it happening in the near future".