Fifth Circuit rejects non-delegation challenge to FCC Universal Service Fund

On Friday, a unanimous panel of the Fifth Circuit rejected a challenge brought by the anti-regulation advocacy organization Consumers’ Research to Congress’s creation of the Universal Service Fund. The Fund imposes charges on telecom providers and then uses the money to fund access to telecommunications services for low-income consumers, schools, libraries, and rural health-care providers, among others. The organization argued that both Congress’s delegation of administration of the Fund to the FCC and the FCC’s use of a private entity for administrative support were unconstitutional. The court held that Congress provided sufficiently intelligible principles to the FCC to guide its administration of the statute and rejected both arguments.


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