The Supreme Court giveth and the Supreme Court taketh away. This is
exactly the strategy that the ILECs have been saying they would follow
in the wake of the decision last week upholding FCC rules on
UNEs. Deep pockets litigation dragged out forever. Indeed, it was
specifically Verizon that had said last week that it would be drawing
out the litigation state by state.
Note that this decision hasn't gotten NEARLY the publicity of the
CQ DAILY MONITOR MIDDAY UPDATE
Published by Congressional Quarterly and the CQ Daily Monitor
Monday, May 20, 2002 - 1:55 p.m.
HIGH COURT SAYS STATES CAN BE SUED IN FEDERAL COURT UNDER TELECOM LAW
The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 today that states can be sued in
federal court for their activities implementing the 1996
Telecommunications Act (PL 104-104), the Associated Press
reported. Justices refused requests by Maryland's regulators to shield
states from lawsuits by telephone companies. The ruling is the court's
second in a week stemming from the 1996 law, which sought to spur
competition in local phone service. Last week, justices upheld a
federal plan for making the transition. Today's ruling means states
must deal with potentially lengthy federal court litigation from
companies angry over how state utility boards or other regulators are
following the law. Maryland attorneys had argued that companies
dissatisfied with state decisions should be restricted to challenges
in state courts. The court also held that state commissioners could be
sued individually. The ruling came in the case of Verizon Maryland
v. Public Service Commission of Maryland.
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