If you’ve got three hours to kill (and who doesn’t?), and you don’t feel like spending $15 for a movie (and who does?), we have a suggestion. Curl up next to your computer (or laptop, or tablet or smartphone, or other mode of Internet access) and listen to the oral argument in the Net Neutrality case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The court heard arguments on December 4. Anyone who figured that they could just traipse in to the court that morning and get a primo seat (as is usually the case) was probably surprised to find that (according to the Washington Post) the line to get in started forming the night before the argument, meaning that some enthusiasts apparently camped out outside the courthouse for the night. So we’re guessing that some folks who might have wanted to attend the show didn’t make it in.
No problem. The court records all oral arguments and posts links to the recordings on its website. In this case, there are two separate links, because – given the wide range of points to be discussed – the court broke the case down into two separate chunks. The first part – which clocks in at just under 90 minutes – covers the Commission’s reclassification of broadband Internet access services; the second part – which runs just over 90 minutes – hits on the regulation of mobile broadband Internet access, a First Amendment challenge to the Net Neutrality order, and some other miscellaneous points.
Be forewarned: the recordings are not studio-quality. While the attorneys presenting arguments can be heard clearly, at least one of the judges’ voices – we think it’s Judge Tatel, but we’re not 100% sure – sounds very distorted, which is disappointing, because he asked a lot of questions. The other two members of the panel (Judges Williams and Srinivasan), both of whom were also actively engaged in the back-and-forth, fare better, mic-wise.
Who came out on top? As is most often the case, it’s impossible to tell: the court posed tough questions to all sides. Give a listen and get your own office pool started.