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Fifth Circuit Rules in Favor of FCC

On March 24, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion denying a petition challenging the constitutionality of Congress’ delegation of Universal Service Fund administration to the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the FCC’s “subsequent reliance on a private entity for ministerial support.”

In the fifteen page opinion, the Court opined that Section 254 “reflects Congress’s understanding that telecommunications services are constantly evolving. That understanding also drove Congress to implement a unique revenue raising mechanism for the USF. That the mechanism is unique is not in itself a nondelegation violation—especially where Congress has placed identifiable limits on what USF distributions can fund.”  The Court also found that “because the FCC properly subordinates USAC, it has not violated the private nondelegation doctrine.”

The Court’s opinion may be viewed here.

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