Title II Petitioners Must Combine Arguments

Court Allows 35-Page Group Brief to Make Case for Stay

It could take cable and telco operators a few more days to put together their combined request that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stay the June 12 effective date of the Federal Communications Commission's Title II reclassification order until the court hears their underlying legal challenge.

The court last Friday (May 8) denied a motion by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and American Cable Association to exceed the 20-page stay request page limit by allowing the two groups to file a single, 35-pager. Instead, the court will require all the petitioners -- more than a half dozen -- to file a single, 35-page brief; the FCC will get to file 35 pages in response, and the petitioners may file 18 pages in response to that.

Given that the lawyers now have to get together on a single request, it could take more time. Also adding to the time is the fact that the same parties sought stay requests from the FCC first. The FCC denied those last week, but in doing so made numerous points about why the stay should be denied, points that the parties will likely respond to in buttressing their argument for the court stay.