Geoffrey Manne on Kavanaugh’s Data Regulations Position in CNBC Interview

In a CNBC interview on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s position on data regulation, Geoffrey Manne explains that it might have more to do with brand definition than the data itself:

Kavanaugh, who clerked for Kennedy, “would be likely, on these issues, to either replicate Kennedy or even steer further towards a First Amendment that’s more likely to degrade regulatory systems,” Bambauer said.

However, not everybody thinks that Kavanaugh’s position on data as speech is so clear. Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law & Economics, said that Kavanaugh’s position in the net neutrality case has more to do with the providers’ right to define their brand than the data itself.

The “editorial control” Kavanaugh references, according to Manne, is about ISPs deciding what content they provide customers. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the bits themselves,” he said.

Kavanaugh cited another reason, though, for opposing net neutrality. He said that the FCC’s initiation of the rule without authorization from Congress also rendered it unlawful. That position, according to Manne, is what could possibly pit Kavanaugh against regulations of data from the FCC and other agencies.

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