US Supreme Court: ‘Let’s Call a Friend’

At its conference on March 20th, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether to grant certiorari (the so-called “Rule of 4”) in two key cases dealing with the Telecom Act, and specifically with the interplay between Section 253 and Section 332(c).

These cases, Level 3 v. St. Louis and Sprint v. County of San Diego, address local government controls and the reach of telecom ordinances.  St. Louis deals with wireline issues, while San Diego deals with wireless issues.

Rather then deciding to grant or deny cert in these two cases, the Justices have asked the new United States Solicitor General, Elena Kagan to file a brief containing the views of the United States on these two cases.  Call it a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” ‘Call-a-Friend lifeline’ or a “Cash Cab” ‘Street Shout-Out.’

Sometimes called the 10th Supreme Court Justice, the Solicitor General is occationally ‘invited’ to weigh in like now on certain cases brought before the nation’s highest court.

I expect that it will be at least several months before the Solictor General gets through all of the industry and governments briefs and letters designed to suggest how she should advise the Supremes, and writes her brief.



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